South College bar becomes first university bar in the UK to be SAVI accredited

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South College’s bar, known as The Nest, has become the first university bar in the country to be given a 5-star Licensing SAVI (Security and Vulnerability) accreditation.

The Licensing SAVI scheme is a confidential self-assessment tool that owners of licenced premises can fill in, to help them provide a safe and secure environment for their managers, staff, customers and local communities.

The scheme provides personalised advice and recommendations to premises to help them comply with the Licensing Act 2003, focused around preventing crime, public safety, preventing public nuisance and protecting children from harm.

Among premises signing up to the scheme was South College’s bar, who are now helping other University bars apply to the scheme. The University says that a several other college bars are in the process of signing up to the scheme, including Collingwood, Castle, Trevelyan, John Snow and St Aidan’s colleges.

“Reinforce our already safe student bar”

amy shuttleworth

Amy Shuttleworth, South College’s JCR Vice-President, told Palatinate that the South college bar team “worked very closely” with the SAVI licensing team to gain the accreditation. She said the inspection helped “to identify gaps within our training” which would help improve the bar, while it also helped SAVI since hearing from a university-run bar helped them develop their assessment process further.

Shuttleworth suggested getting the accreditation during fresher’s week this year, after safety concerns were raised last year following a spate of spiking incidents in Durham. She hopes the scheme will “reinforce our already safe student bar”, with the logo of accreditation and posters being displayed across the bar.

She also said the accreditation provided an “added layer of safety for the environment” that bar staff are working in, with relevant amendments to their training being made to ensure they are “fully informed about their roles” and can feel “confounded and comfortable with potentially dealing with difficult situations”.

The news comes as a recent YouGov poll found that three in four adults are calling for improved safety procedures in bars, pubs and clubs following recent publicity around the safety of women and girls, such as the “spiking” crisis which in Durham led to a boycott of the city’s bars and clubs in October last year. 

79% of those polled agreed with the statement that the recent publicity on women and girls safety “made it more important for licensed premises to improve their safety procedures’ in nightclubs”, with 76% supporting further improves safety in bars and pubs. 

Image: TSP via Creative Commons

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