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Council urges hospitality firms to join training to tackle anti-social behaviour

WORKERS at bars, pubs and clubs are receiving training to spot and tackle inappropriate behaviour that people could be subjected to on a night out.

Milton Keynes City Council, the Police & Crime Commissioner and Safer MK partners have commissioned the training on how to be an ‘active bystander’, which will give workers the skills and confidence to challenge and take action when they spot unacceptable predatory and derogatory behaviour.

The online training is free to venues for a year and is being provided by behaviour change expert Aneemo. It features real scenarios that people working behind bars, on doors and in other night time economy roles face regularly, such as unwanted sexual contact, and aims to develop intervention skills on how workers can help people.

The training is part of a Safer Streets programme. Thames Valley Police and the council secured almost £750,000 of Home Office funding last year towards the multi-agency programme which is already being used for upgrades along popular pedestrian routes, including better lighting and reflective paint in underpasses.

Additional CCTV cameras have also been installed and there is an increased police presence at the weekends in Central Milton Keynes.

Venues interested in enrolling in the training should contact contact@aneemo.com. The council is urging any organisation operating in the night-time economy to join the programme.

“This is a really important step to ensure staff are equipped with the skills they need to support people, in particular women and girls on a night out,” said Cllr Lauren Townsend, cabinet member for community safety. “The training will give staff the confidence to step in and diffuse situations where women and girls are being subjected to inappropriate and derogatory behaviour.”

Aneemo says its Bystander Intervention Training scheme is helping staff to recognise and respond to situations of harassment and abuse. Chief executive Dr Emma Williamson, a consultant clinical psychologist, said: “This project is exceptionally important at this time where there is a concerted effort locally in Milton Keynes, as well as nationally, to make our streets and communities safer for everyone, including women who are known to be disproportionately impacted by sexual harassment and abuse.”

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