ACS pledges support for Women’s Night Safety Charter

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has signed up to the Women’s Safety Night Charter, reflecting local shops’ commitment to ensuring the safety of people entering their stores.

The Night Charter has been created by the London Assembly and Mayor of London in an effort to help women feel welcome and confident in their local areas at night. It is part of the Mayor’s Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and London’s commitment to the UN Women Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces global initiative.

The charter includes pledges and practical steps that businesses can take to help women to feel safer at night, including:

• Say hello to everyone who comes into store
• Keep your store well-lit into the evening
• Engage with your community on social media
• Be aware of helpline numbers

ACS chief executive James Lowman said, “Local shops operate in the heart of our communities and we make places safer for everyone through being open long hours, through the investments we make in the places we trade, and through the professional and caring people who run and work in these stores.

“Around one third of convenience stores are open after 10pm when it is dark and the surrounding area is at its quietest which means people may feel more vulnerable. Through taking a few simple steps, local shops can contribute to helping women to feel safer at night.”

Rita King, Joint CEO of Safer Business Network said, ”We operate Business Crime Reduction Partnerships across eleven London Boroughs and have recently carried out a scoping exercise on behalf of the GLA and MOPAC to re-engage with signatories of the Mayor of London's Women's Night Safety Charter.

”We very much welcome this latest action spearheaded by the Association of Convenience Stores to support the Charter. Local shops play a vital role in their communities and are well placed to offer assistance to women who may be feeling vulnerable.

”We hope that many stores all over London will engage positively to help keep women safe at night.”

As part of its support for the Charter, ACS has developed a graphic highlighting four simple and practical steps that retailers can take to help people feel safer at night.

The Women’s Night Safety Charter is a London based initiative but local shops in all areas are being encouraged to consider these steps to make streets safer at night in their communities.