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Next Steps for the Women’s Night Safety Charter in London Safer Business Network

Updated: Mar 11

Following a recent scoping report, Safer Business Network, the leading business crime reduction partnership in the capital, is delighted to continue working with the Mayor of London to help deliver his Women’s Night Safety Charter.

The Women’s Night Safety Charter is an established pan London initiative, originally launched in 2018 by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, his Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and his Night Czar. The Charter is part of the Mayor’s Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and London’s commitment to the UN Women Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces global initiative.

Since it was launched, a range of organisations have signed up to the Charter, with over 700 signatories currently pledging to:

· Nominate a champion within their organisation to promote women’s night safety

· Demonstrate to staff and customers that women’s safety at night is taken seriously

· Remind customers and staff that London is safe, but advising what to do if they experience harassment when working, going out or travelling

· Encourage reporting by victims and bystanders

· Train staff to ensure that all women who report are believed

· Train staff to ensure that all reports are recorded and responded to

· Design public spaces and workplaces to make them safer for women at night


Safer Business Network was commissioned by MOPAC and the GLA last year to scope the views of signatories to the Charter and identify what further support they might need to help them meet the pledges contained in the Charter. The scoping exercise involved surveying all current signatories to the Charter, conducting a series of one-to-one interviews carried out on-line with selected signatories, and organising three Focus Groups, one with female Students at Greenwich University, one with women working at night in a number of McDonalds restaurants and one with women working in the security sector.

The research showed that signatories are working very hard to implement measures to keep women safe at night, whether they are their employees or customers, however, several clear themes emerged in terms of next steps for the Charter as follows:

· The Women’s Night Safety Charter should be a branded campaign with centralised resources that signatories can use and promote;

· There is a need for training for signatories on the objectives of the Charter and tangible guidance on how they can meet these;

· There should be more opportunities for networking between signatories and sharing best practice on women’s night safety issues;

· More interactive, web-based resources, which could include the existing toolkit for signatories, would be helpful.


While outside the remit of the Charter itself, the matter of the education of boys and young men on acceptable behaviour and attitudes towards women was a re-occurring theme. It was felt that more could also be done to encourage empathy in men for how women feel about their safety, particularly at night, and provide strategies for them on how to ensure they do not make lone, and potentially vulnerable women, feel unsafe or threatened.


Last week, the Mayor announced £108,000 of new funding from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime that responds to the recommendations of the scoping report. Specialist training, online resources, an interactive toolkit and best practice guidance will be developed in a continued partnership between the Mayor and Safer Business Network.

Amy Lamé, Night Czar, said:

“We’re committed to ensuring London is the safest and most welcoming city in the world. The Women’s Night Safety Charter is the first of its kind and I’m thrilled the Mayor has announced funding that responds to the recommendations in this report. I look forward to working with Safer Business Network on this new package of support that will help boost the impact of the Charter and help women and girls feel safer on our city’s streets after dark.”


FINAL SBN Women's Night Safety Charter Scoping Report Mar 22
.pdf
Download PDF • 3.52MB

Rita King, Joint Chief Executive, Safer Business Network said:

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to re-engage with signatories to the Women’s Night Safety Charter over the past few months. It is clear that the Charter is well supported across London and we know that other cities around the UK are also interested in adopting a similar approach. The results of our research show that there is already some excellent work taking place to keep women safe across the capital, but there is a need to share this more widely so that other organisations can learn from it and follow suit. There is also scope to grow the signatory base of the Charter further to create an even wider commitment and partnership to ensuring women are safe at night. The creation of a branded, clearly identifiable campaign with additional support and resources for signatories will be instrumental in achieving this goal.

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