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UK Hospitality urges night-time sector support

Trade body UK Hospitality has backed calls for a government support package to help counter shortages in night-time sector door staff.

CEO Kate Nichols backs calls for a national communications campaign

The call comes in response to a number of suggestions and recommendations in a Home Affairs Committee report published today (26 April).

The trade body, which acts as the authoritative voice for more than 730 companies operating around 85,000 venues, has also welcomed a number of other proposals aimed at keeping venues safe for all customers. This includes a co-ordinated approach to drink-spiking and wider vulnerability initiatives following a rise in drink-spiking reports last year.

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is a serious issue, and it needs to be tackled quickly and effectively, but through effective partnership working, rather than via restrictions imposed on operators’ licences.

“UK Hospitality backs the report’s calls for a national communications campaign that forms part of a nationwide strategy that ensures a consistent approach to the issue, and which sees government working with local authorities to develop an anti-spiking strategy that encourages local licensing authorities to make better use of their powers in regard to drink-spiking offences.”

UK Hospitality also favours the report’s recommendation that a government-led national strategy is needed, and that the support package should include assistance in recruitment and training of additional security staff, with a focus on female recruitment.

Nicholls added: “The committee’s recommendation for government support for night-time businesses to help recruit and train door staff is very welcome, as is consideration for a review of current offences and evidence-gathering, and how this can be improved.

“The hospitality sector will continue to work together with the Home Office, police and local authorities to tackle drink spiking as part of the wider customer safety agenda, building on the good work many hospitality businesses are already doing to address the matter through both their own and joint initiatives, recognised by the committee.”

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