Gay venues added to bar safety awards

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A new category has been added to the Best Bar None scheme in Brighton, the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) venue.

Brighton Hove will become the first city in the country to have such an award for a licensed premises.

The scheme is sponsored by gay magazine, 3SIXTY, joint venture partners with for the upcoming publication of The PinkNews.

Editorial director for 3SIXTY, David Harvey said: “Best Bar None is about delivering good practices and the participation of the LGBT venues can only improve the delivery of services to all customers at these venues in the city. 3Sixty is delighted to support this forward looking initiative.”

Around eighty of the city’s licensees attended the unveiling of the awards scheme last week which seeks to establish a standard of excellence within the licensed trade in Brighton Hove.

The event was also attended by City Police Commander Chief Supt Jeremy Paine, Mayor Bob Carden, councillor Jeane Lepper, chair of the City Council Licensing Committee and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Divisional Officer Adrian Brown.

The aim of the ‘Best Bar None’ scheme is to reduce the risk of alcohol related harm, disorder and crime within the city and to establish a benchmark of good practice in off and on trade licensed premises.

A recent British Crime Survey has shown a significant proportion of crime being directly and indirectly related to poorly managed licensed premises. The objective of ‘Best Bar None’ is to provide an incentive for owners of licensed premises to improve standards through a high profile awards scheme.

All entrants now fall into four categories – pubs, bars, clubs or LGBT venues – and each premises will be judged on a number of things including their door policy, crime prevention strategy, emergency procedures along with drink and drugs policies.

Entrants who meet the minimum standard of safety set by the Police and City Council receive an accreditation, which enables them to use the ‘Best Bar None’ logo on their promotional material/advertising. The overall winners in each category will receive the accolade of being called The Best Pub, Bar, Club or LGBT venue in Brighton Hove. The awards will be presented at a formal dinner in the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Sunday 1st October.

Chief Inspector Lawrence Hobbs of Brighton Hove Police giving a presentation at the launch said: “This competition is an excellent opportunity for pubs, bars and clubs in the city to review their safety procedures and where necessary raise their standards to help keep their clientele safe.

“As part of the initiative, we are determined to reduce alcohol-related crime and make Brighton Hove an even safer night out. The licensed premises have a vital role to play in this aim by ensuring people drink more responsibly and in safety.”

The Best Bar None Awards scheme was developed by the Manchester City Centre Safe project as part of its remit to address alcohol related crime. Now seen as a Home Office model of best practice, other police Forces are now looking to adopt a similar awards scheme.

Chief Inspector Hobbs continued: “In other cities, it has been proven to raise awareness of well run licensed premises, improve public reassurance and confidence and has increased profitability for the businesses involved. It encourages all sectors of the night time economy to work together in partnership to improve the attractiveness and economic vitality of the city centre.

Councillor Jeane Lepper said: “We are delighted that 3Sixty Magazine has come forward to sponsor this unique new category. We are all proud that our city has so many well run licensed premises that are popular with the LGBT community and I’m sure competition will be strong.”