Women’s Night Safety Charter launched

Jack Young and Sam Hennerley, co-founders of Safer Dance, support the charter

A new Women’s Night Safety Charter to help improve women’s safety across the region has been launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The charter, the first of its kind in the region, sets out guidance for venues, operators, charities, councils and businesses to improve safety at night for women - including better training of staff, encouraging the reporting of harassment and ensuring public spaces are safe.

More than 50 business have already signed up - including the NEC Group, the HMV Empire in Coventry, and Kings Heath’s iconic Hare and Hounds pub.

Now West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and WMCA Night Time Economy Advisor Alex Claridge are encouraging more councils, businesses, venues and other organisations to sign the charter and help improve women’s safety.

The charter’s measures, which include plans to appoint a Women’s Night Safety Champion for the West Midlands, are part of a new bold vision for how a safe and thriving night-time economy can operate in the region. Mr Street said:

“We are fortunate in the West Midlands to have an incredible night time economy, but it’s clear we need to do more both to support the hospitality sector and improve night time safety.

“That’s why I appointed a new night time economy advisor in Alex, and why one of our first actions together is to launch this charter as part of our plans to improve women’s safety across the West Midlands.

“The charter has real practical actions to help bolster women’s safety - including businesses providing better training and awareness - which is why we’re encouraging as many places as possible to sign up and implement the charter’s recommendations. Day or night, everyone in the West Midlands has a right to feel safe.”

The seven principles of the West Midlands Women’s Night Safety Charter are:  

  • Champion: Appoint a champion to drive forward action.
  • Communicate: Create a positive public/staff facing communications campaign, both online and in venues.
  • Support your staff: Make clear the routes for reporting unacceptable behaviour while at work and supporting cultural change.
  • Support the public: Communicate routes for reporting unacceptable behaviour while using a business service or space at night.
  • Training: Provide staff training and any relevant policies, including what staff can and cannot say and do.
  • Recording: Ensure staff training on information sharing and appropriate recording of details.
  • Design for safety: Audit venues and spaces and adapt them to promote a safer environment and reduce risk of crime and sexual misconduct. 

Alex Claridge is the WMCA’s Night Time Economy Advisor and also owns the award-winning Wilderness restaurant in Birmingham. He added:

“Whilst it is undeniable that nor myself or the Mayor will ever fully understand the experience of women in this region – it is right and proper that the West Midlands is stepping up, together, to commit to a safer nightlife. 

“The Women’s Night Safety Charter, alongside a safety charter focused on LGBTQ+ safety, will form the cornerstone of a new agenda for the region focused on ensuring the brilliance we see from businesses across the region is not overshadowed by the unacceptable behaviour of the few.” 

Organisations can get involved and sign up to the Charter here.


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