As people return to socialising in pubs and clubs across North Yorkshire, work is being stepped up to support licensees and businesses to keep their customers safe as well as enjoying themselves.
Keeping people safe on their night out is currently a national policing and public health priority.
North Yorkshire’s Public Health team is therefore working with North Yorkshire Police to increase keep-safe training and messaging across the county’s night-time economy.
Licensees and businesses have the opportunity take part in training about how to identify when someone is vulnerable while on a night out and how to intervene to give the right support.
Chief Inspector Dave Barf of the North Yorkshire Police Partnership Hub said:
I am very proud of the work which the licensing team here at North Yorkshire Police has been doing throughout the pandemic and never more so than now as we begin to see a welcome recovery and return to trade.
Working with our partners in the local authority can only serve further to ensure and enhance the safety of those working in, and enjoying, the night time economy as we move into 2022 and beyond.
Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement Training (WAVE) is being offered by the North Yorkshire Police to venues that wish to ensure their staff are trained and empowered to assist at the right time customers in trouble by excessive alcohol consumption and the use of other drugs.
The training shows how situations can develop and how effective observation and intervention can change outcomes for the better.
Alongside the WAVE training venues are being encouraged to adopt the Ask for Angela scheme. This scheme enables customers who feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened to seek discreet help by approaching staff in the venue and asking for “Angela”.
North Yorkshire’s public health team is also stepping up its efforts with partners to develop a social media messaging campaign designed to help people enjoy their night out and reduce harms associated with drugs and alcohol.
North Yorkshire’s drugs and alcohol recovery service, North Yorkshire Horizons, has liaised with other local authorities, such as Leeds City Council, to establish best practice in harm reduction messaging and will be working with public health and North Yorkshire Police to get these messages out.
Cllr Andrew Lee, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Public Health said:
It is good to see people back out enjoying themselves after the lockdowns.
North Yorkshire Police licensing and neighbourhood policing officers have done a great deal of awareness training with licensees and in backing national campaigns such as Ask for Angela, and Op Night, which is developing protocols around spiking incidents.
But as the night time economy gets in full swing, we in public health are now taking steps to actively encourage all licensees and businesses to participate in WAVE training and promote campaigns such as Ask for Angela to help keep their customers safe.
Following the publication of the National Drugs Strategy, North Yorkshire’s public health team is leading a local drugs strategy in conjunction with partners, with a view to influencing a national White Paper promised later this year on substance misuse and the night-time economy.