New ground-breaking scheme launched to ensure Hackney’s nightlife venues are safe

Women and girls’ safety, hate crime and pickpocketing are just some of the areas nightlife venues in Hackney will have exclusive, free training in as part of a one-of-a-kind project launched by Hackney Council.

The new Hackney Nights Accreditation Scheme gives licensed venues across the borough access to free safety training and guidance which focuses on crime prevention, increasing sustainability, health and wellbeing and promoting inclusivity. 

Training and policy work on the scheme will equip staff with the knowledge and skills to create safer spaces in their venues and aims to address current issues such as the use of nitrous oxide, pick-pocketing and drink-spiking.

All venues that gain the accreditation will benefit from a 30% reduction in their late night levy fees, an initiative brought in by the Council after the pandemic as part of their wider recovery plan. 

The scheme is now live and training is available to all licensed venues in the borough. Businesses and venues interested in joining the scheme can find out more information and sign up here: www.hackneynights.co.uk/.

The scheme also aligns with the Council’s commitment to ending violence against women and girls ensuring all venues taking part in the the accreditation scheme sign up to the Women’s Safety Charter and promote Hackney’s on-going work to protect women and girls against sexual harassment. 

The Accreditation Scheme was trialled during a pilot with venues earlier this year. Venues who successfully gained the accreditation were presented their accreditation certificate during a special ceremony attended by the Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, the MET and other key safety partners on the scheme.  

Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Safety

I am very excited to announce the official launch of our new Hackney Nights Accreditation Scheme following a successful pilot with some of our licensed venues earlier this year. This scheme is the first of its kind in the country and a lot of work has gone into it from Council staff, the Met Police and licensees. 

With the help of these partners we have created an accreditation focused on safety and inclusivity, in line with the Council's overarching commitment to making Hackney safe for all. 

This new scheme will give staff in our licensed venues access to quality training to ensure they are equipped to deal with any issue that could arise. 

“When we created our night time safety charter, Hackney Nights, the primary goal was to ensure everyone is able to enjoy Hackney’s nightlife without fear of harassment or crime and this remains a priority for us. I would encourage all of our licensed venues to get onboard and benefit from what this scheme has to offer.

Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Safety
Samantha Mathys, Late Night Levy Manager

The criteria of this scheme is not found in existing private safety schemes, it really is one of a kind. We have placed Hackney’s values at the forefront of our night time strategy, including hate free policies and ensuring we give venues the proper knowledge and tools to conquer and stamp out misogyny and sexual harassment, prevent crime and have more aware and informed customers and staff.

Samantha Mathys, Late Night Levy Manager

The Late Night Levy was established in November 2017 as a requirement for any licensee who sells alcohol after midnight to pay into a fund towards crime prevention, additional safety initiatives and the police. Following this, Hackney Nights was created in August 2019 and became the brand for all activities and campaigns funded by the Late Night Levy.