Brian Sims

Royal Lancaster London receives first National Policing Award for Safety

THE ROYAL Lancaster London Hotel, one of Hyde Park’s proud architectural icons, has become the first hotel in England and Wales to receive a National Policing Award for Safety and, indeed, the first London venue to be the recipient of a five-star rating for its security and safety regime.

The independently owned hotel achieved this accolade after successfully taking part in a pioneering, police-led initiative designed to improve the safety and security of its premises for the overall benefit of staff, customers and local communities alike.

Available as an online self-assessment, the Licensing Security and Vulnerability Initiative (ie Licensing SAVI) brings together, for the first time, all the information that licensed premises need to comply with the requirements of local police and council licensing teams, achieve a ‘star’ rating and have the opportunity to apply for Licensing SAVI accreditation and an award.

Opened in 1967, the Royal Lancaster London is a prominent and popular hotel. Its 411 rooms and suites feature a timeless classic style and luxurious comfort. Each room is impeccably designed with every luxury and amenity in mind to ensure the best possible experience for all guests.

Royal Lancaster London also features a number of dining options and licensed bars, all of which were carefully considered when completing the Licensing SAVI assessment. Alongside these are corporate meeting spaces and function rooms suitable for a variety of events including the ceremony for the UK Outstanding Security Performance Awards, which was held on Thursday 24 February and played host to some of the biggest names in the security world.

Commitment to security

Serkan Yildirim, safety and security manager at the Royal Lancaster London, said: “We are truly delighted to be the first five-star property in London to receive the Licensing SAVI accreditation. We’re proud to be recognised for our commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our residents, patrons, colleagues and the local communities in the vicinity as this has always been, and remains, our highest priority as a business.”

Yildirim added: “Increasing staff awareness in safety and security risks through continuous training and development is of paramount importance when identifying, dealing with and responding to such critical matters. I would like to thank all colleagues here at the Royal Lancaster London for their commitment and give a very special Thank You to Licensing SAVI for this recognition.”

Mark Morgan, business manager at Licensing SAVI, responded: “I'm delighted that we have our first five-star accredited hotel and first five-star accredited venue in London. Here at Licensing SAVI, we’re really pleased that the self-assessment initiative is adaptable to different types of licensed premises and is seen as a way in which venues can demonstrate to their staff and customers how importantly they view safety and security.”

Morgan added: “In this case, reviewing the measures that Serkan and the team at Royal Lancaster London have in place, it was great to see the numerous processes, policies and working practices devised to reduce risk and maximise safety. Well done to all involved. This is a great achievement.”

Safer venues

Licensing SAVI was developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, which works alongside the police service to deter and reduce crime. As well as providing safer and more secure venues for managers, staff, customers and local communities, it also seeks to reduce the demand placed on police services, NHS Ambulance Services and, indeed, Accident and Emergency Departments.

Commissioned by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, a YouGov survey of 5,050 adults aged from 18 to 45 in England and Wales that was conducted between 16 August and 5 September last year found 79% of adults in agreement with the statement that ‘recent publicity around the safety of women and girls has made it more important for licensed premises to improve their safety procedures’.

The research also uncovered the fact that two out of every three adults questioned want improved safety measures in hotels and guest houses, while a total of 64% of adults would like to see safety improvements in hotels and guest houses. The largest call for improved safety emanated from women. At 69%, this was 11 percentage points higher than for males.

Critical issues

Licensing SAVI covers critical issues like responsible drinking, drugs misuse, violent behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable customers as well as preventing opportunist theft and improving physical security.

In addition, Licensing SAVI offers advice and guidance on drink spiking and injection incidents, which have made the national media headlines over the last few months. There’s a female-focused safety policy for venues to adapt for their own use. Importantly, most measures included in Licensing SAVI can be introduced quickly and at little or no cost.

As stated, Licensing SAVI is backed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council in addition to Project Servator, a police-led vigilance scheme orchestrated to deter terrorist attacks at crowde

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