Working to reduce the risk of sexual offending in public spaces is our main area of activity. Leisurewatch is a membership scheme for organisations that have a responsibility for the public who are using their facilities.
About the Scheme
If you have responsibility for managing a site that is open to the public, you have probably encountered examples of potentialy risky sexual behaviour by visitors to your premises. Experience shows that sexually predatory individuals can use public sites such as shopping centres to target vulnerable children and adults. It is a challenge for managers to provide as much protection for their customers as possible, without exaggerating the risks presented by sex offenders.
Leisurewatch, a membership scheme developed and managed by TDI, can help protect vulnerable adults and children and give your organisation the confidence to recognise, assess and help manage the risk presented by concerning sexual behaviour on your premises.Click here to download the new Leisurewatch brochure (PDF) Click here to download the Leisurewatch Poster (PDF)
Please note, these PDFs are the property of The Derwent Initiative and may only be re-used by accredited Leisurewatch members.
What is Leisurewatch?
Leisurewatch is an annual membership scheme which includes training for your frontline staff and managers, on-site signage and branding, a thorough assessment of the site to gauge risk, a reporting system linked directly to the Police, and mystery visits to test the resilience of the systems in place.
The key elements of Leisurewatch are:
- Training for at least 80% of frontline staff, consisting of a three hour workshop to help them identify, assess, and manage sex offender risk
- A site audit examining physical, design and security issues that enable potential offenders to operate more easily on your premises
- The establishment of an official protocol with the Police whereby concerns recorded by staff will be reported to, and acted upon where appropriate by the Public Protection Unit of your local constabulary
- Training for site managers to co-ordinate contact with the Police, to manage the risk presented by sex offenders and create safer working environments
- Provision of on-site signage and other branding materials to demonstrate that your site is a member of the scheme, helping to deter potential offenders and re-assure the public
- Regular mystery visits with follow up advice and support to check implementation of the scheme and ensure that Leisurewatch protection is effective
- Newsletters and regular briefings from TDI on key issues and changes in legislation of which your staff must be aware.
- A top-up training session during the first membership year for new employees, ensuring that the majority of frontline staff are trained.
Benefits of Leisurewatch
Leisurewatch offers a unique level of public protection from risk presented by sex offenders.
Key benefits include:
- Visitors to your site can be assured that staff have undertaken training which equips them to identify risky sexual behaviour and to have procedures in place for responding to the risk presented.
- Your staff have the confidence to spot and report incidents (even when a crime hasn't been committed) and know their concerns will be taken seriously.
- You will have a direct link to a designated Police Officer who will record all incidents and act appropriately on the information supplied.
- Enhanced observation skills amongst your staff will help to reduce other troublesome or offending behaviour, including shop-lifting, vandalism, and bullying.
- Staff learn to identify and help protect those children and adults most vulnerable to harm
- Organisations joining Leisurewatch become part of a scheme which is recognised and valued by the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Ministry of Justice, and the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management
- Managers will become aware of any "danger spots" on the premises that require extra vigilance or security
Why does my site need Leisurewatch?
Whilst many sites may already have child protection policies and training in place, no other scheme focuses specifically on dealing with the risks posed by sex offenders.
Leisurewatch directly addresses the potential problems of voyeurism, abduction, indecent exposure, indecent photography and sexual assault .
No other scheme provides a direct link to your local police force, where concerns will be recorded and taken seriously even if no offence has been committed.
Setting the standards in sex offender awareness training
The Leisurewatch scheme was created by Police and public protection practitioners. Training is delivered by experts in the field and regularly undergoes rigorous 3rd party assessment. Leisurewatch is one of the few training schemes to be accredited and approved by the Association of Chief Police Officers.
We have seen real benefits in the Leisurewatch scheme which promotes public protection and co-ordination between police forces and leisure facilities
Assistant Chief Constable Greg Vant, Northumbria Police
This scheme is a great comfort to parents; I hope it will soon be extended to cover all our facilities
Valerie Richmond, Director of Development services, Limavady Borough Council.
Exactly the kind of joined-up approach which is regarded as best practice in the field of public protection
Hazel Kemshall, Professor of Community and Criminal Justice, De Montfort University
How much does it cost?
The cost of implementing the Leisurewatch scheme is dependent on how many staff require training, how many training sessions are required and the number and size of your sites. Prices start from as little as £1500 per location to implement the scheme and maintain it for one year. Membership in subsequent years is charged at £500 - £2000 per site.
To find out how much Leisurewatch would cost for your site, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us using the details to the left.