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Watford PRYZM Safeguarding event held for local night-time businesses

Over one hundred people attended the safeguarding event at PRYZM on Wednesday as part of their ongoing work to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Officers in Watford shared safeguarding advice and information with local night-time economy staff, which included local bar and pub staff, licensed premises owners, hotel staff, door staff and security staff.

The guest speakers were at the event, which ran between 12pm and 2pm, including representatives from Hollie Guard, Licensing SAVI, Ask for Angela, Ask 4 Clive and officers from the Hertfordshire Constabulary HALO team.

Organised by Watford Police’s Senior Licensing Officer, Jo Tomkins, with support from Watford Chief Inspector Andy Wiseman and Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Matt Langley.

During the presentations, various measures to enhance the safety of people enjoying a night out in Watford were discussed and recommended for adoption by local establishments. The measures included information on the Hollie Guard app, which enables users to send real-time alerts to their emergency contacts, as well as the Ask for Angela scheme, which allows women to discreetly seek assistance if they feel threatened while on a night out.

After the presentations, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and seek advice from local Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeants, Licensing Officers, and Crime Prevention officers.

Chief Inspector Andy Wiseman said: “We had a fantastic turnout at this event, and we hope that we can continue to work closely with our local businesses to continue running information sessions such as this.

“Watford has a busy night-time economy, and it is so important that we all work together to ensure that everyone who visits Watford for a night out can have a safe and enjoyable time. I would like to personally extend my thanks to everyone who came, to the presenters who shared valuable insights and information, and last but not least to Jo for organising this event. Hopefully, it will be the first of many.”

Senior Licensing Officer Jo Tomkins, who organised the event, said: “Thank you to PRYZM for partnering with us for this event, and letting us use their facilities for the afternoon. My team and I have done lots of work regarding the night-time economy in Watford, working closely with partners and local businesses, and it was great to see so many people taking advantage of this free event.”

The Hollie Guard personal safety app can be downloaded for free to your mobile phone via the App Store – more information is available on their website (opens in a new window).

Ask for Angela (opens in a new window)’ and ‘Ask for Clive (opens in a new window)’ posters and stickers are displayed in discreet locations inside participating pubs, bars and restaurants. They aim to empower people to feel safe on a night out and educate staff on how to spot the signs of anyone who may be vulnerable and how to address them.

Licensing SAVI is a self-assessment tool that licensed premises can use, to help provide a safer and more secure environment for their patrons. More information is available on the Licensing SAVI website (opens in a new window).

Welfare And Vulnerability Engagement (WAVE) training is a package developed to provide those working in the licensed industry with an awareness of vulnerability, their responsibilities and how to deal with it. It explores what vulnerability is within the licensed economy and how to identify it, to prevent and reduce harm to vulnerable people in licensed premises. It’s all about prevention, reduction of violent crime and sexual offences. This initiative is supported by Hertfordshire Constabulary, NHS Direct, Rape Crisis, Terrence Higgins Trust, Met Police, Crimestoppers, Victim Support and SurvivorsUK. For more information, you can visit their website – Safersound Partnerships (opens in a new window).

You can use our anonymous community voice platform ‘echo’ to let us know what you think we should be prioritising in your area. Your feedback will help towards shaping our local policing priorities, initiatives and campaigns. Visit echo Watford (opens in a new window) and tell us your thoughts.

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