Rebuilding a safer Hackney: Have your say on proposals to reduce fees for businesses that gain new safety accreditation
Residents, visitors and late night businesses are being encouraged to have their say on a proposal to reduce Late Night Levy fees for Hackney’s late night venues, as part of Council efforts to support local businesses through the financial impact of the pandemic and to rebuild a safer night time economy for everyone.
The Late Night Levy was introduced by Hackney Council in November 2017 to raise funds for additional activities to prevent crime and disorder and to support the sustainability of night time economy businesses in the borough, after local evidence showed a clear correlation between the locations of late night venues and crime. All venues who serve alcohol between midnight and 6am contribute towards the Late Night Levy.
The proposed change would see late night venues - such as bars, clubs and off-licences - who successfully gain Hackney’s new night time safety accreditation benefit from a 30% reduction in their Late Night Levy fees, which go towards training, policing and the management of local night time economy areas. This is in recognition of the positive contribution their accredited activities will have on the prevention of crime and disorder, and the promotion of wellbeing, diversity and inclusivity in night time spaces.
As part of the new accreditation scheme, which will be hosted on the Council’s new online Hackney Nights’ safety portal, participating venues will be asked to commit to a series of activities to help rebuild a safer Hackney for everyone. These include:
- Coronavirus safety
- Community involvement
- Education and training on a range of night time safety issues, including sexual harassment, hate crime, mental health in night time spaces and substance misuse
- Crime prevention
- Health and wellbeing
- Sustainability and green working practises
The Late Night Levy is collected by the Council, but at least 70% of any net revenue collected must be paid to the police to contribute towards the control of late night related crime and anti-social behaviour. The remaining 30% is used by the Council to further support night time safety initiatives, including:
- Additional policing at the weekends
- Additional Council Enforcement activity at the weekends
- Development of the Hackney Nights Online Portal and training for frontline Night Time Economy staff
- Public awareness campaigns, including Reframe the Night which was developed by Good Night Out, who work to tackle sexual harassment in night time spaces. As part of the campaign, which centered on challenging the damaging culture of victim blaming and misogyny in the night time economy, venues received free training from Good Night Out
- CCTV monitoring
The past 14 months have been incredibly tough for our late night venues, who have faced significant financial and mental strains as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite these challenges, they have been working tirelessly with Council and Police officers to ensure that their premises are able to reopen safely and in line with the vital public health guidelines, alongside taking online training programmes through our new night time safety portal on a range of key issues, including tackling sexual harassment and hate crime in night time spaces.
Our proposals are intended to provide further financial support to our late night venues, in recognition of their tireless work and commitment to help ensure that Hackney’s night time economy is a welcoming, inclusive and enjoyable place for residents, staff and visitors.
Many of our late night licensed venues are already going to great lengths to support the prevention of crime and disorder associated with the night time economy and we’d like to be able to support their efforts and encourage others to follow their example by providing a discount to their levy fees.
The past year has been incredibly challenging for businesses and we hope to ease further financial pressure by offering a levy discount to those businesses that fulfill our accreditation requirements and actively contribute to improving the night time economy for employees, users and residents in these areas.