Nightspots aiming to keep women safe

CLUBS and bars in Ipswich have come up with ways to help female customers stay safe while still enjoying a night out during the party season.Liquid Envy nightclub in Cardinal Park has launched the Home Safe project in conjunction with an Ipswich taxi firm - which will take women to the club and also home again at the end of the night.

CLUBS and bars in Ipswich have come up with ways to help female customers stay safe while still enjoying a night out during the party season.

Liquid Envy nightclub in Cardinal Park has launched the Home Safe project in conjunction with an Ipswich taxi firm - which will take women to the club and also home again at the end of the night.

The club has also appointed two taxi marshals to pre-order the taxis for female clubbers and then to accompany them to the cars when they arrive.

“We've taken new, positive action in light of what's happened in Ipswich,” said Dan Guerche, manager of Liquid Envy. “We want to make sure female customers get home safe and stay in the club until their taxis arrive,” he added.


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At the end of the evening, Envy - the smaller room in the club - will become a waiting area for customers to regroup with friends or wait for their lift home.

Staff will provide coffee and toast and ask customers, particularly women travelling alone, whether they would like to 'buddy up' with other women that live in the same area.

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Dedicated marshals in high visibility jackets have been recruited to liaise with the Bee Line taxis to personally escort female customers from the door of the club to the taxi rank outside the venue. These marshals will ensure each person is safe within the taxi and have been instructed to walk all female customers to their private car if parked on Cardinal Park.

Management at Liquid Envy are encouraging customers to arrive in groups and clearly plan the evening from start to finish including where to meet should they get separated.

The use of a designated driver, for parties of three or more, is also being encouraged as the club will be offering drivers free entry to the venue together with a couple of free soft drinks. The scheme starts with immediate effect.

And in the heart of the town centre, Pals Bar and Brasserie is also launching a similar scheme.

“We have a designated service set up with 417 Cars. When we call them they send a taxi straight away to pick up any woman on her own who wants to use the service. They will be escorted to the taxis by a male member of staff or door staff,” said Andrew Burford, general manager of Pals.

“There will also be free soft drinks for any designated driver in a party of four or more,” he added.

Safety measures have also been stepped up at Endeavour House and Grafton House - the homes of Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council respectively - to ensure staff get in and out safely of the offices in the red light district.

A mini-bus has been used to ferry hundreds of staff members to car parks in the area and to the train station.

Meanwhile, Suffolk County Council leader Jeremy Pembroke has repeated his safety messages after hearing reports of girls walking to car parks after working late in the town.

He said: "I want to encourage the owners of bars, nightclubs and restaurants to make sure that their workers get home safely. Encourage them to walk together and to obtain a free panic alarm for extra safety. Advise them to keep to well-lit streets and keep in contact with people and have their mobile phone handy."

n Panic alarms can be obtained from the police, Suffolk County Council reception, Ipswich Borough Council reception and the Ipswich OneStop Shop, Town Hall in Ipswich.

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