A MILTI-agency scheme aimed at improving standards and safety in licensed premises across Scotland has launched for 2023.

Best Bar None Scotland is a national accreditation and award scheme, which creates a safe day and night-time economy through awarding pubs, bars, nightclubs, and specialist entertainment venues, which provide high standards of safety for their staff and customers.

Participating venues are given the opportunity to demonstrate they can meet a number of objectives, set in consultation with Scottish Government and alcohol industry.

READ MORE: Police urge public to share domestic abuse concerns

Best Bar None is led by Retailers Against Crime and supported by Police Scotland, Scottish Government and alcohol industry sponsors. It rewards safe and well-managed premises with a commemorative plaque which can be used to promote the venue.

The scheme follows five key objectives set out in the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. These are; prevention of crime and disorder, protection of public safety, protection of the environment, promotion of public health and protection of children from harm.

The aim is for partner agencies to work with licensed premises in creating safer and welcoming night-time economy, which assists Police Scotland reducing criminal activity within these venues.

The launch event for Best Bar None 2023 scheme took place at the Bag O’Nails pub in Glasgow. The venue won the Best Late Night Bar category in 2022.

READ MORE: Police Scotland appoints first female chief constable

Police Scotland’s Chief Inspector Steven McKinnon said: “The public has a right to enjoy a safe night out within any of Scotland’s licensed premises, while, at the same time, staff working within these venues are also entitled to carry out their duties without fear of falling victim to a crime.

“The Best Bar None scheme has a number of different categories that venues can strive to achieve success in and in doing so, they will gain national recognition for their efforts.

“Police Scotland is committed to keeping the public safe and reducing incidents of public space and alcohol-related violence. Best Bar None is a really important initiative in helping us achieve this goal and we will continue to work with all relevant partners to further enhance the safety of Scotland’s night-time economy.”

Community Safety Minister Siobhian Brown said: “I am pleased to continue our support for the Best Bar None Scheme in Scotland. The scheme helps highlight the positive role that that pubs, clubs and bars can play to support community well-being.

READ MORE: What's on at the Borders Book Festival this week

“It’s important to give safety in the night time economy its rightful focus and the scheme is an excellent opportunity for establishments to show what sort of venues they are running, how responsible they are and that they value their customers safety as much as their patronage.”

Jack Gemmell, Chairman of the Best Bar None Board added: “I am proud to recognise the hard work from all the participants of the Best Bar none Scheme in what continues to be a challenging business environment. The national winners we are announcing today are real examples of the benefits of taking part in the scheme. This has never just been about improving one bar or nightclub; it’s been about raising up the whole night-time economy to provide safe and fun venues for people to share convivial moments.

“The data behind the benefits of the scheme are well known but the winners here today demonstrate the real human value in providing the best of hospitality in the safest possible way.”

Maxine Fraser, Managing Director for Retailers Against Crime, added: “Retailers Against Crime are privileged to be the new administrators of Best Bar None Scotland.

“I would encourage all licensed premises to become involved in Best Bar None Scotland.
“Together we can all make a difference in helping to keep the day and night-time economy in our towns and cities vibrant and safe places to visit.”