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Vulnerable People & Licensing

  /    /  Vulnerable People & Licensing

Sadly, some people are innately or temporarily vulnerable.

This can be caused through internal factors, such as mental illness, or through external factors such as circumstance.

We could debate for hours on whether being drunk is an internal or an external factor, but in the end it actually make little difference if we simply confine our minds to whether the person we are dealing with is ‘vulnerable’ (no matter what the cause) and we THEN go on to safeguard them.

Medical Emergency:

The first and most obvious indicator of vulnerability is Injury.

The Licensing Guys offer First Aid training in our Training packages.  Please click this link and avail yourselves of this training:

However, The Licensing Guys also STRONGLY recommend that each and every one of you download the following app to their smartphones: CitizenAID.

You can access it here:

This free app will provide you with the knowledge, skills and abilities to render first aid to any casualty in any adverse scenario, even including stabbings, acid attack and terrorism.  It has been devised by military trauma specialists for use in civilian emergency scenarios, and is based on their wealth of battlefield experience which has been adapted and adopted for use in the Night Time Economy.  As such, we thoroughly recommend it.


Full-blown Drunkenness IS a Medical Emergency – full stop.

Most people who get into difficulties in the Night Time Economy have been drinking.  That is a statistical reality.  People who are drunk are not only volatile, they are also much more likely to be injured and end up at an A & E Department than people who have not been drinking.  Drunk therefore equates to Vulnerable.  Please:  Do all you can to ensure that drunk people receive the care they really need so that they get home safely.


Evidence supports defining alcoholics and other heavy drinkers as a vulnerable population. Long‐term excessive use of alcohol has been linked to liver disease, heart disease, cancer, learning and memory problems, mental health problems and social problems.

✅ The Licensing Guys will train your staff in Responsible Alcohol Retailing.  Click this link for details.

Bullying and Coercive Behaviours:

Alcohol is a drug because it alters the mental and physical state of the drinker.  It can also alter the bands of acceptability of and susceptibility to otherwise unacceptable and risky behaviours.  You should ensure that certain customers are not being taken advantage of by other members in the group – they should be easy enough to spot as the victims will present as:

  • The out of place, solitary hangers-on in a group who appear to be the butt of the heavy-handed joking and be constantly sent to bar with a long list of drinks to purchase for the other members, or
  • The introverted loner who doesn’t seem to be enjoying themselves as much as the others yet is constantly being cajoled for not entering the full swing of the evening/event.

However, the link between alcohol, violence, bullying and coercive behaviour can be oversimplified and perhaps creates false stereotypes.  Whatever the sociological theories, you are still well advised to stay alert to the possibility that some of your customers may not truly being enjoying their evening out.

Ask for Angela/Clive:

To that end, two mirror schemes have sprung into existence to counter the recent growth in the phenomenon of internet dating – especially when those dates start going wrong.

Ask for Angela is the name of a campaign in England that started in 2016 that is used by bars and other venues to keep people safe from sexual assault by using a codeword to identify when they are in danger or are in an uncomfortable situation. When an establishment uses this programme, a person who believes themselves to be in danger can approach a member of staff and simply ask for ‘Angela’, a fictitious member of the staff.

The member of staff will then help the person get home discreetly and safely by either escorting them to a different room, calling them a taxi and escorting them to it, or by asking the other party member to leave the establishment.

There is a mirror initiative called ‘Ask for Clive’ to be used within the LGBT communities.

National Pub Watch fully support this scheme.  If you want to implement it, you will need to train your staff in order for it to be delivered efficiently and effectively.

✅ You can download our ‘Ask for Angela’ poster for free from the TLG Vault.