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Home Affairs to explore next steps to make the night-time economy a safer place in Guernsey

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Thursday 09 February 2023

The Committee for Home Affairs is currently exploring options on how it can help take the next step of making the island's night-time economy a safer place for the community.

In 2021 the Committee determined it would do its part to instigate a culture shift in the Bailiwick when it came to offences taking place in the night-time economy: people should not have to put up with being 'groped' or disrespected.

Since that point, the Committee has been working closely with Police, the third sector, and specific representatives campaigning for this culture shift to see what it can do.

Following a successful meeting earlier this week with campaigners, it will now look at how it can work with the licensed trade to ensure everything possible is being done to ensure all premises are doing their part to help protect people and deter potential offenders.

Deputy Sue Aldwell, member of the Committee for Home Affairs, said:

"While our Respect Campaigns have made some progress in our community in recent years, it is a sad truth that women still find themselves being taken advantage of when they are on a night out. Whether it be inappropriate comments or touching; this is unacceptable, and respect is the solution. We continue to look at options of what we can do to support the police and charities working in this area to get that message into the community, but I am sure that the vast majority of islanders would agree with me that this is not an environment we want for our children, and so things must change."

Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee forHome Affairs, said:

"Following a very useful meeting this week between the Committee, and a campaigner looking to work with licensed premises to ensure they are doing what they can to protect their patrons, I have directed officers to look at options for what we can do to ensure there are good standards across the industry. I have no doubt that many premises are already doing lots, and are very conscious of these issues particularly as they have come into the spotlight in recent years. We very much applaud that, but further small changes across the board could make a big difference."

In the coming weeks, among other ideas, the Committee will be considering introducing proportionate requirements for the provision of CCTV in pubs and clubs. It will also be looking at the potential of working with the third sector to provide drink lids for people who want them - which can be used to cover glasses to prevent the potential of spiking.

This work will run alongside the project which is already underway to run a pilot scheme for a Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

It all comes as Guernsey Police also continue to focus on violence against women and girls - and any other victims of these offences - in the night-time economy.

Both the Committee and Police are committed to working with the industry throughout this process.

Deputy Prow added:

"Our goal is to help make our community one where people can go out and enjoy themselves without fear of what other people might do to them. And if something does happen, we want them to be able to report these incidents and see justice done. As a Committee, we are already given confidence by the recent reports in the Guernsey Press showing perpetrators are being convicted by the Courts, but we will continue to work on this until our goal is achieved."

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