We take extremely seriously our part in developing a more socially responsible Scotland and we understand the part that training policies and local knowledge play in this area. Over the last 2 years, Belhaven have developed a number of Young Person’s Venues throughout Scotland where drink sales were often perceived as the primary reason to visit, to a more food led operation which attracts a broader range of customer and includes the family market. This evolution surely must clearly depict our commitment to being more socially responsible. We believe we highlight this commitment in many ways, including:-
Training - a newly created intensive and innovative staff training induction programme, which includes a section on compulsory areas which highlights to staff how they should manage responsible drinking, understanding alcohol and it’s effects and ensure they understand the implications of test purchasing – our motto here is “if you can’t tell, don’t sell!”.
National Policies - We actively support the work of drinkaware and all of our promotional campaigns do make reference to www.drinkaware.co.uk and have the strapline “Please drink responsibly”. We are members of the SPBA and are actively involved with them on a regular basis, which keeps us in touch with legislation and how we can keep improving our service to our customers in terms of social accountability in line with government policy and beyond. Our own policy which supports the new licensing objectives under The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, highlights our commitment further by promising:-
• A zero tolerance towards illegal drugs will be enforced at all times.
• Where a CCTV is installed, it will operate during all hours of trading and copies of recordings will be made available to police upon request.
• We will provide adequate external and internal lighting and staff will regularly inspect public areas to ensure that no criminal activities are taking place.
• Staff will be made aware of crime prevention actions which are appropriate for the premises, including refusal to serve any individual who appears to be drunk.
• All instances of crime and disorder will be reported to the police and will be recorded in an incident book.
• We will continue to actively support national campaigns such as alcohol awareness week, to encourage our patrons to drink sensibly, through the use of literature and other awareness media.
Management of Difficult Situations - Our professional in-house recruitment team strive to recruit the best of staff at all times, staff who, besides a multitude of other accolades, have a proven track record in dealing with difficult situations. Disclosure Scotland checks are run on all managers and assistant managers to ensure that we have a background on who we recruit. We then provide training to ensure that our managers are clear on procedure and have access to key senior management at all times. At sites where we employ door staff, all are SIA registered and some of our own managers have also been SIA trained on a rolling programme offered out to more and more of our team on an ongoing basis. Most of our units have CCTV.
Good Relationships - We pride ourselves on the excellent relationships our Area Managers and Pub Managers have forged over the years with local police, licensing sergeants & now, Licensing Standards Officer’s. Many of our managers are actively involved in pubwatch schemes and we currently have 28 members of our staff/tenants who have places on the various licensing forums throughout Scotland, ensuring we have up to the minute involvement in anything to do with responsible alcohol retailing.
Test Purchasing - All our pubs display “Challenge 21” posters. In fact, we have ordered and used approximately 3,000 of these since they were published. We have gone a step further and had original staff t-shirts commissioned with the words “Best wait until you’re legal” and badges “Under 21? I’ve got to ask for ID. It’s my job.” Our tills are programmed with buttons to allow staff to enter data on our system which produces reports for us on how many times staff ask for ID, refuse drink because no ID can be produced, or refuse service because someone has had just that wee bit too much alcohol… We’ve also developed our own extensive lesson plan to reinforce the importance of adhering to Challenge 21 principles. We also have leaflet holders from Validate UK designed to sit on counters in each pub which contain application forms for ID cards.
Validate UK made everything so easy for us! We have over 300 pubs throughout Scotland and all we had to do was supply the addresses and Carol and her team delivered packs to each pub containing application forms, posters and stickers in a neat clear plastic holder to sit on our bar counters. Top ups and new packs are sent within 24 hours after a quick email or phone call. All in all Belhaven can heartily recommend Validate UK’s professional and efficient service, leaving us confident that we are doing everything we can to ensure we are a responsible retailer.
6 Back Walk