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Modern Slavery and Child Sexual Exploitation sections added to Licensing Policy

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Measures to prevent child sexual exploitation and slavery have been included in an updated licensing policy for St Albans District.

The policy outlines the duties and responsibilities of businesses and individuals granted a licence by St Albans City and District Council.

The Council issues licences for pubs, clubs, takeaways and other venues which are required to comply with the policy.

Among its overarching objectives are ensuring public safety, protecting people from harm and preventing crime and disorder.

An update to the policy includes instructions to licence holders on how to identify and report suspicions of modern slavery or child sexual exploitation taking place on their premise.

A meeting of the Full Council adopted the policy at its meeting on Wednesday 6 December.

Councillor Robert Donald, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said after the meeting:

We are required by law to keep our licensing policy under review and update it regularly when appropriate.

It is clear that since the last Licensing Policy was agreed modern slavery has become a growing concern nationwide with some vulnerable people being forced to work in appalling conditions for very little, if any, money.

Sadly, there is also growing concern about young people being sexually exploited in the workplace with one household-name chain of takeaway restaurants having recently faced such allegations.

While there is no evidence that slavery or sexual exploitation are major problems in our District, we cannot be complacent.

We must take all reasonable steps to ensure it does not happen locally and work with our licensees as well as the police to prevent these degrading and inhuman crimes occurring.

This new strategy advises our license holders on their responsibilities to be vigilant, who to report any suspicious activity to and to provide appropriate employee training so that all staff can also spot any early warning signs and know what to do.

These new policies in the revised Licensing Policy on Modern Slavery and Child Exploitation agreed by the Council, reinforce our commitment to meeting the key objective of ensuring public safety.

Modern Slavery

Under the new policy, licence holders are required to raise awareness of modern slavery and be alert to any signs of it.

They must inform staff of their rights, train them on how to spot indications of slavery and how to report concerns.

Licence holders will also be required to develop strong relationships with local police and support services such as the national Modern Slavery Helpline in advance of any incident.

Child Sexual Exploitation

Licence-holders should take measures to detect any instances of their premises being used to exploit children for sexual purposes.

These may include training programmes for staff and the regular monitoring of all areas of the premises as well as the immediate vicinity.

Other possible measures include a CCTV system, an incident register, and a policy to challenge anyone attempting to purchase alcohol who looks under 25. 

Accredited door staff may be employed during busy periods such as weekends.

The updated licensing policy can be viewed here.

Media contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer: 01727 819533;