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November 4, 2022


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Licensing SAVI: keeping licensed premises onside whilst screening Rugby League and Football World Cup matches

The 2021 Rugby League World Cup is currently being held in England until 19 November 2022, followed by the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022. Licensing SAVI (Security and Vulnerability Initiative) summarises how licensed premises’ managers and staff can manage their customers safely at the events.


Planning is key and you can seek help from your local police and council licensing teams to problem solve reasonably anticipated risk. This will allow for appropriate support if necessary and for your venue to be included in response plans for the wider local area.

This should also ensure you are able to adapt to other events nearby which could impact upon you. Also:

  • Check Premises License conditions to ensure plans are compliant, especially when considering using space differently, such as outside areas which may not have been used before
  • Submit Temporary Event Notices where necessary as early as possible
  • Be aware of key match dates for rugby and football, particularly those of the home nations, so you can match staffing levels against expected customer demand
  • On key match days, consider ticket-only access and whether you need the additional support of Security Industry Authority (SIA) registered Door Supervisors
  • Review your policies and risk assessments to ensure they are fit for purpose
  • Record changes to operating practices in risk assessments and audit trails

Brief your staff

The World Cups are a timely opportunity to remind staff of procedures and management practices. These may be staff who have been recruited to replace those who have left or earning extra money to support their time at University. Staff briefings are important and could include:

  • Challenge 21/25 age-identification schemes to manage underage drinkers and remind staff it is an offence to serve a drunk person (or on behalf of drunk person)
  • Emergency procedures, such as how to respond to alarms and the location of fire exits and the need to keep them uncongested; and to stop serving and call police in the event of any tension or disorder
  • How to manage the number of customers to avoid exceeding venue capacity and how large numbers could influence departure in response to critical incidents
  • Ensure nominated staff know how to use your CCTV system to ensure it is fully operational and are able to download footage
  • Position TV match screens to avoid potential congestion, especially avoiding emergency exits
  • Consider safe and controlled dispersal from your venue when matches finish – respect your neighbours
  • Inform staff of the named Designated Premises Supervisor or appropriate manager
  • Explain the different types of vulnerability and how vulnerable people can be supported, such as by contacting friends or family on their behalf, as opposed to asking them to leave a venue where they could then become at greater risk
  • Brief staff on the ‘Ask for Angela’ and ‘Ask for Clive’ campaigns to assist customers who feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened

Additional tips:

  • Run sensible drinking promotions and make free water available
  • Use polycarbonate or similar drinking vessels and decant any bottles to reduce risk of injury or harm, that could result from disorder
  • Clear empty glasses and rubbish quickly and remove to secure storage
  • Display numbers for reputable taxi companies, signposting to nearby transport hubs

Terrorist threat

The terrorist threat is ‘substantial’ which means an attack is ‘likely’. Crowded places are particularly at risk. Managers and staff will need to be vigilant for anything out of the ordinary or that doesn’t feel right no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Call your local police on ‘101’ or in an emergency ‘999’. Check out the counter terrorism website for further information.

Licensing SAVI

At the request of the Home Office, Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a police organisation that works alongside the Police Service to deter and reduce crime, has launched Licensing SAVI, which is a comprehensive, single source of information for licensed premises to obtain ‘all the guidance, advice and standards they need’ to comply with the Licensing Act 2003 and run safe and secure venues.

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