Edinburgh nightclub Why Not has launched a new service to ensure revellers can report any suspicious activity – a move which is hoped to play a pivotal role in addressing growing concerns about ‘spiking’ incidents.
It is anticipated that the ‘Night Watch’ concept on top of a new policy to search all clubgoers on entry, in addition to current extensive measures, will improve customer confidence.
The George Street night club, which works closely with Police Scotland and Edinburgh Licensing Board as well as welfare and first aid charity Street Assist, said that their aim is to create a safe and inclusive environment for all customers and staff.
A spokesperson for Why Not said: “We are extremely saddened to hear that some people feel that they cannot enjoy a night out without fearing for their safety.
“The safety of our customers is our top priority and while we are proud of our record, we have been shocked to see the levels of growing concern and experiences being expressed by people across the country.
“In response, we have rolled out our Night Watch service and imposed a new rule where everyone is searched on entry.”
Night Watch aims to make it easier for individuals to report any suspicious activity inside Why Not. Revellers can go onto an incident reporting page on the Why Not website (https://www.wnclub.co.uk/nightwatch) to report an incident and can provide as much information as possible – including clothes and hair colour to provide greater detail for management to investigate on CCTV. If customers feel they need to speak with management in in an emergency, they can reach them instantly via WhatsApp messenger for immediate assistance in the venue. There are informative posters located around the venue with a link/QR code to the webpage.
Why Not has an advanced CCTV system covering the whole venue internally and externally which can accurately pinpoint people and places, including cameras stationed above all bar and service areas.
The spokesperson said: “We will investigate incidents and will ensure that serious incidents are reported to Police Scotland.
“We would encourage anyone who believes they have been put in danger or has witnessed threatening behaviour to report this immediately to the venue and Police Scotland by calling 101.”
Why Not said it was aware of the Open Letter from GirlsNightinEdinburgh and their calls for safety improvements in Edinburgh nightclubs and added: “Anyone caught endangering the safety of others in the venue will not only receive a lifetime ban but we will provide detailed CCTV footage and statements to ensure we can assist Police Scotland with their investigations. We have robust security protocols in place including;
– A full risk assessment outlining all control measures.
– A team of security in excess of the industry standard.
– Increased number of floor staff to monitor all areas of the venue and immediately remove any unattended drinks.
– Advanced CCTV system of 64 Hikvision 4k cameras covering the entire venue which is monitored by a member of management throughout the night.
– Search policy in place on entry.
– Four first aid trained members of management on shift.
– Enhanced staff training and door staff training.
– Staff fully trained in the ‘Ask Angela’ and “Angel Shot” initiative.
– Close working relationship with Street Assist as well as Police Scotland and Edinburgh Licensing Board.
– Anti drink spiking devices will be available at the bar.”
The venue is also improving its safe zone facilities for anyone who feels like they may need support at any time for any reason. This will be a clearly visible area and overseen by management and door staff. There will be blankets and water available as well as first aid trained support staff.
The spokesperson added: “Our aim is to provide a safe space for all to enjoy and we are continually working to improve and adapt our existing policies and procedures.”