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Licensing security and vulnerability initiative (licensing SAVI)

An online self-assessment tool for licensed premises, focusing on legal requirements and good practice to reduce impact at the venue and public spaces.

First published

Key details

Does it work?
Untested – new or innovative
Anti-social behaviour
Crime prevention
Drugs and alcohol
Violence against women and girls
Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI)

Mark Morgan

Email address
Business and commerce
Community safety partnership
Government department
Health services
Local authority
Voluntary/not for profit organisation
Stage of practice
The practice is implemented.
Start date
Scale of initiative
Target group
General public


The licensing security and vulnerability initiative (licensing SAVI) aims to raise awareness of security and associated crime prevention, to reduce:

  • vulnerability
  • crime
  • associated demand within licensed premises

It aims to support the on-licensed industry (any venue selling alcohol for consumption at the premises, such as nightclubs, bars, pubs, restaurants, hotels, sports clubs, and stadiums) and responsible authorities. It does this by helping them to recognise, understand and implement good practice in safety and security measures that can impact a venue and surrounding areas.

Intended outcome

Good practice identified during the self-assessment contributes to:

  • safer venues
  • reduced demand for police and partners
  • increased customer base for venues – those with recognised safety accreditation are more likely to have more customers because of public confidence

Implementation of the recommended crime prevention measures following the self-assessment is intended to lead to outcomes of:

  • reduced crime
  • fewer victims of crime
  • increased perceptions of safety


Licensing SAVI is a digital self-assessment. It can be completed on a computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Licensing SAVI was developed at the request of the Home Office by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI). Police CPI works alongside the police service around the UK to deter and reduce crime. Licensing SAVI is supported by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).


Licensing SAVI is available to any on-licensed premise in England and Wales, including all restaurants, hotel bars and sports stadiums.

Following a promotion campaign, venues choose whether they would like to participate. It costs £100 for the assessment and 12-month accreditation.

Digital self-assessment

A suitable representative completes the digital assessment, such as a manager or premises supervisor. The assessment takes 45-90 minutes to complete.

It includes questions about:

  • staff training
  • crime prevention measures
  • drugs and alcohol misuse
  • violence against women and girls
  • vulnerability and bystander intervention
  • child sexual exploitation
  • cyber security
  • anti-social behaviour
  • traditional licensing considerations

After assessment

The assessment is sent to licensing SAVI within Police CPI. Police CPI provides the accreditation, which lasts for 12 months. Police CPI undertake all media, assessment dip-sampling and roll-out work, so there is no requirement for local resources. Being a digital platform, the licensing SAVI is available anywhere and anytime.

Examples of recommended crime prevention measures following the use of licensing SAVI include:

  • staff training about vulnerability, how can they mitigate vulnerability and bystander intervention
  • implementing the free template policies relating to female safety, spiking, age verification, childhood sexual exploitation, dispersal of customers and anti-social behaviour, drugs, crime scene preservation
  • simple crime prevention measures to deter theft, drug use and burglary
  • implementing the 'Ask for Angela' scheme to support vulnerable women
  • the use of free resources, such as drug resources, age verification resources, and ‘respect our neighbours’ posters


A full evaluation of the initiative is due to begin in 2023.

Overall impact

Initial observations indicate positive impact through user feedback from venues.

Venues are indicating that they're taking learnings and can easily amend working practices to improve safety and security at their venue – no matter the experience of the person completing the self-assessment. Once accredited, they like being able to display their accreditation to customers to increase confidence in safety.

There are currently registered venues in more than 100 towns and cities across England and Wales, with accredited venues in most of those areas. The greatest concentrations of accredited venues are in Greater Manchester, Shropshire, Yorkshire, Greater London, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Dyfed-Powys and Wiltshire.


  • Challenges included raising awareness of the initiative. Having greater promotion and awareness before launch may have improved understanding about what the initiative is and what it means. 
  • Based on user feedback, Police CPI changed the assessment to include more user-friendly terminology and less police jargon. The platform's appearance has also been developed to provide a better digital experience.
  • Successes included positive feedback from early users, with some geographical areas seeing positive feedback around the public perception of safety with increased use of the licensing SAVI. The licensing SAVI is the first of its kind on a digital platform. It is a unique, user-friendly tool from a policing initiative with crime prevention practitioners.


The copyright in this shared practice example is not owned or managed by the College of Policing and is therefore not available for re-use under the terms of the Non-Commercial College Licence. You will need to seek permission from the copyright owner to reproduce their works.

Legal Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The views, information or opinions expressed in this shared practice example are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or views of the College of Policing or the organisations involved.

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