North Wales’ Mold Rugby Club have become the first venue in Wales and the first sports club in the UK to receive a National Policing Award for Safety.
Mold RFC achieved this accolade after successfully taking part in a pioneering, police-led initiative to improve the safety and security of its premises for the benefit of staff, customers, and local communities.
Available as an on-line self-assessment, Licensing Security & Vulnerability Initiative (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.
Mold Rugby Club has three senior teams, a youth team, and one of the biggest player memberships of any rugby club across Wales within junior and minis rugby, which ensure the venue is regularly busy with both local use and from travelling supporters. The club offers a wide range of private hire options and event organisation for any occasion including both social and corporate events, hosting open air cinemas, sports festivals, disability groups, Flintshire Pride and a variety of other functions.
Helen Kirby, Mold RFC, said: “We are delighted to be the first rugby and sports club to receive the Licensing SAVI accreditation and award. We’re very much a community venue, therefore security and safety are incredibly important to us, and we’re now able to demonstrate to all our club users the result of the efforts we’ve made. The self-assessment was an excellent opportunity to undertake a health check of what we had in place and learn from the recommendations made. From our traditional customers after rugby matches to functions and various community groups who use our facilities – we want them to be as safe as possible whilst here.”
Mark Morgan, Business Manager for Licensing SAVI, said: “Having our first accredited sports club is a great step forward and I’m pleased with the feedback from Helen and the team about the benefits of using Licensing SAVI. It was particularly pleasing that Mold RFC thought about the wider impact around how they can contribute to the safety of women and girls, being clearly already prepared to identify and respond to vulnerability through their understanding of the Welsh Rugby Union safeguarding policy, but more importantly, how that impacts beyond the playing environment. The work at Mold RFC clearly addresses the findings of our recent YouGov survey which showed that safety is an important and significant factor in sports and social clubs with nearly one in five adults saying they would visit more if they felt safer and more than one in five saying they’d visit more if the venue had a police safety award. Da iawn I pawb at Clwb Rygbi Yr Wyddgrug - Well done to all at Mold RFC.”
Licensing SAVI was developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), which works alongside the Police Service to deter and reduce crime. As well as provide safer and more secure venues for managers, staff, customers, and local communities, it also seeks to reduce demand on Police Forces, NHS Ambulance Services and Accident & Emergency Departments.
A YouGov survey of 5,050 adults aged 18-45 in England and Wales commissioned by Police CPI in Autumn 2021, found that 79% of adults agreed 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 found that support for improved safety in venues is greatest among women – with 83% of women wanting improved safety in nightclubs compared to 75% of men; and 81% of women wanting safer bars and pubs compared to 70% of men. Additionally, 62% of adults want safety improvements in sports and social clubs.
Licensing SAVI covers critical issues like responsible drinking, drugs misuse, violent behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable customers through to preventing opportunist theft and improving physical security, such as lighting and CCTV.
It also covers drink spiking, which has hit national headlines recently with a number of victims from around the country reporting being assaulted with needles.
Most measures included in Licensing SAVI can be introduced quickly and at little or no cost.
The first police award of its kind, Licensing SAVI aims to support the licensing trade and is backed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Project Servator, a police-led vigilance scheme to deter terrorist attacks at crowded-places.