The importance of security at your venue

Every venue needs to consider its security. Venues have a responsibility to keep its guests, employees and members of the public safe. While venues can’t be responsible for every guest’s individual actions, there are preventative measures all venues ought to take to ensure security is of an adequate standard.

This is a legal and moral requirement, and all venue owners / managers should undertake regular risk assessments and security checks. But why is security so important to night-time venues? As we detail below, each business has its own unique risks…

The main security risks for bars and pubs

  • Vandalism
  • Accidents
  • Underage drinkers
  • Theft of liquor or cash
  • Gaming machine theft

Top tips

  • Implement thorough cash handling procedures and bar closing checklist 
  • Don’t keep alcohol bottles on display and keep expensive equipment locked away
  • Consider installing game guards or security cabinets

The main security risks for nightclubs

  • Violence
  • Drugs
  • High levels of intoxication
  • Underage drinkers

Top tips:

  • Implement a venue-specific Security Policy & Procedure Manual.
  • Always work with an SIA-approved security contractor
  • Implement mandatory ID and bag checks
  • Make sure all staff are wearing lanyards, and customers have a hand stamp so it’s easy to see any guests who haven’t been checked by security

The main security risks for hotels

  • Cyber attacks
  • Terrorism
  • Slavery and human trafficking
  • Employee mistakes or deliberate breaches

Top tips

  • Train managers thoroughly and ensure they cascade key security information to all staff
  • Treat cyber security like physical security – conduct risk assessments and cyber security training, and put a cyber risk management policy in place
  • Partner with a security contractor to supply security professionals
  • Conduct reference checks on all employees
  • Set up anti-trafficking initiatives with help from the Stop Slavery Blueprint toolkit
  • Train staff and provide materials on terrorism prevention
  • Install an adequate CCTV system

The main security risks for restaurants

  • Employee theft
  • Customer theft
  • Cyber security breaches

Top tips

  • Understand your cybersecurity risk and put relevant security protocols in place
  • Have a payment strategy (i.e. ask customers to pay when ordering, never leave cash on the premises overnight etc)
  • Have set duties and procedures in place for opening and closing your restaurant (such as checking all windows and doors)
  • Treat your employees well and put emphasis on their wellbeing to encourage a culture of respect and honesty
  • Check till transactions closely, such as reprints, voids and comps and any mismatches between the money that should be in your till and what is actually there

Top tips for improving security at your venue

Whatever type of night-time establishment you run, you should consider instructing a risk management expert to help identify key areas of risk and how to mitigate this. For example – are you following adequate safety procedures when banking your takings, or locking up? Are your safe keys kept on-site, in clear view of a window or front door? Do you have a CCTV system, and a robust security rota?

Don’t view risk assessments as a tick box exercise. You should take every risk seriously and make sure you have taken every step to mitigate it, plus have clear understanding of what you’ll do if the worst happens and you are faced with an accident or incident. Health and Safety Executive has published a selection of example risk assessments specific to your industry.

It goes without saying that you should have adequate insurance cover. You might think insurance will just cover you if a claim is made against you, but there are many additional covers that offer extra support and protection. Cyber Insurance, Terror Insurance and Employee Fidelity cover are just some examples of insurance policies that could help your venue if there’s an incident that simply couldn’t have been prevented. To discuss your policy, contact our team.

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