Organisations are being encouraged to work in partnership to ensure the night time activities of town and city centres across Wales are healthy and safe.
The Welsh Government has today published its Night Time Economy Framework, which provides information bodies such as the police, NHS, local authorities and businesses can use to keep people safer if they are on a night out; going for a meal; visiting the theatre; or going to a sports event or concert, between the hours of 6pm and 6am.
Suggested actions include:
- Providing safe travel infrastructure through investing in night buses or trains, using taxi marshals, and assessing transport needs during major events.
- Encouraging premises to agree a clear policy on searching and seizing drugs, holding drug outreach services within pubs and clubs, and preventing drinking alcohol on public transport during the evening, in order to reduce alcohol and substance misuse.
- Creating safe, clean environments through providing street lighting, ensuring adequate toilet provision and replacing glassware and bottles with plastic.
- Providing accredited emergency services such as St Johns Ambulance.
“A vibrant night time economy is not only crucial for jobs and revenue, but also makes a positive contribution to Welsh life and culture. However, it is essential that people enjoying a night out, going for a meal, visiting the theatre, or going to a sports event or concert, can do so safely.
“The Framework I am launching today sets out how key bodies, such as the police, NHS, local authorities and businesses, can work together to develop a better understanding of the challenges faced during the night time, how these can be prevented, as well as how policies and legislation can be enforced.”
Public Health Wales have been instrumental in the development of the Framework.
Janine Roderick, Policy Lead for Public Health and Policing, Public Health Wales said:
“Supporting a healthy night life is part of the shared agenda between public health and policing and forms a critical part of the economy, social life and well-being of Wales. Sadly, all too often a night out can result in very drunk individuals who pose a danger to their own and the health of those around them.
“PHW is a firm supporter of well managed inclusive night life settings where all sectors of society feel they can relax and socialise, and therefore welcome the Welsh Government’s inclusive and sustainable framework to manage the night-time economy in Wales.”
The Framework also highlights examples of best practice across Wales and the world, such as Help Point on Swansea’s Wind Street, where the Minister launched the Framework.
Set up by the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner in partnership with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board in 2014, Help Point provides a safe place to treat people needing to recover from heavy alcohol consumption.
Alun Michael, South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“The night time economy of South Wales provides the community with many social, cultural and economic benefits. For South Wales Police, ensuring the safety of patrons within our night time economy is of fundamental importance, as set out in my Crime Reduction Plan.
“The best example of this is the impact of the Help Point in Swansea. In a 12 month period, the Help Point dealt with those vulnerable which would have equated to 1,300 ambulance journeys, 1,100 admissions to Accident and Emergency and on 1,300 occasions allowed Police Officers to return to the street, keeping the piece were they would have been dealing with those vulnerable under the influence of alcohol.
“It shows the true value of professionals working within our night time economy with the support of student volunteers and St Johns Ambulance Service. This is just one example of working together to help keep the public safe within the night time economy.
“Through strong and well established links with partners in law enforcement, government, charities and local businesses we have been able to deliver many operational activities and local initiatives to ensure those that visit or work in our night time economy are safe and projected.
“Over the last 12 months we have been able to work effectively with partners to share vital data on offenders and victims of crime, delivery hard hitting campaigns to reduce violent crime, champion schemes to reduce demand on emergency services and prosecute those that threaten to risk the safety of those within our night time economy.
“By working together, the night time economy of South Wales can continue to develop and thrive”