Safer Business Network Becomes a Community Interest Company
Safer Business Network is pleased to announce that it has been granted Community Interest Company status. A Community Interest Company (or CIC) is a special form of non-charitable limited company, which exists primarily to benefit a community or with a view to pursuing a social purpose, rather than to make a profit for shareholders. To become a CIC, an organisation has to demonstrate a clear commitment to social goals, and we are delighted that we have been able to do that.
We believe that being a CIC better reflects the ethos of our organisation, which makes a valuable contribution to local communities in London through our work to tackle business crime and identify local offenders, helping to ensure the protection of employees and the general public. One of the key aims of our Safer Sounds Partnership, launched in 2019, is also to promote good practice across licensed premises in order to make our London night-time economies safer through the use of a comprehensive risk assessment to assist all venues to put on safe events, and various training courses to support venues.
As a CIC, we will also be better placed to access potential grant funding to support locally based/community projects. We already work with a wide range of stakeholders across a number of different issues, for example:
Safer Business Network is a signatory to the Women’s Night Safety Charter, which is part of the Mayor of London’s Strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls. We actively support this across all our BCRPs, including Safer WestEnd, primarily through the work of our Safer Sounds Partnership, which highlights vulnerability in the night-time economy and provides training and advice to promote awareness of vulnerability issues to licensed premises;
Our Safer Sounds Partnership manages the secretariat of the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum. The Forum plays an important role in supporting theses venues, which make such a vital contribution to London’s vibrant nightlife as well as supporting the LGBTQ+ community;
We work with partners to support public facing campaigns through our membership, eg. we have recently supported the Metropolitan Police Service “Look Up, Look Out” Campaign. We can also support charities and community initiatives, for example, we were approached by the charity Refuge during the first Lockdown of the pandemic when there was a surge in incidents of domestic violence, and were able to assist with the display of posters promoting the Refuge Helpline in non-essential businesses that remained open;
ASB perpetrated by young people is a common theme across our BCRP areas. Our Safer Lewisham BCRP won and Federation of Small Businesses Award in 2019 for its partnership working to tackle ASB on the part of secondary school pupils in Lewisham Shopping Centre. It continues to build on this by working with Community Alcohol Partnerships (www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk ), a national resilience building initiative which creates wide-ranging local partnerships to tackle youth ASB and under-age drinking in particular, but also impacts on a range of other risky behaviours. In our Southwark Safe BCRP, we are working with Our Routes on a similar basis, alongside the local Council;
We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to tackle issues affecting our local communities.