A new pilot scheme is offering protection to revellers who have one too many festive drinks.
Pubs, bars and clubs in Piccadilly and Leicester Square are signing up to the Westminster City Council (WCC) scheme, designed to protect intoxicated patrons.
It will see venues provide safe spaces to sober up with hot drinks and phone chargers, as well as providing them help to get home or find friends they have been separated from.
It will be the first part of a new strategy called the Westminster Licensing Charter aimed at protecting those who are intoxicated and vulnerable .
The charter is voluntary and encourages businesses to think about how they can share best practice to support patrons in and around the vicinity of their premises.
The scheme aims to prevent intoxicated and vulnerable people from becoming victims of antisocial behaviour and opportunistic crime.
WCC leader Councillor Nickie Aiken said: “Leaving vulnerable, drunk people on the streets doesn’t just put them in danger, it puts a strain on our already pressured emergency services, from paramedics to police to A&E doctors.
“This is why we are working closely with businesses to pilot our new Licensing Charter, which represents a step change in how we protect those who are intoxicated and vulnerable.
“This new approach doesn’t look at the seriously intoxicated as a problem to push into the street, instead it asks businesses to set up areas for people to sober up and have plans in place to help at risk patrons get home safe.
“Our Licensing Charter focuses on recognising achievement in good premises, driving standards up and changing the relationship between the council, the police and industry.
“For Westminster’s evening and night-time economy to continue to thrive we need to be smart in how we give businesses the space and support to proactively improve what they do and not just take action when things go wrong.”
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