Safer Bars


The goal of the Safer Bars project has been to prevent violence from occurring in and around licensed establishments and to prevent the escalation of violence.The training programme takes three hours and takes a participatory approach with group discussions, exercises and role-playing. It is a peer learning model because the participants have had experience working in bars and they can learn from each other. The training covers: understanding bar room aggression; assessing the situation; knowing yourself and keeping your cool; non-verbal techniques to communicate with someone who is intoxicated; and responding to problem situations and legal situations. The training is for all bar staff and not just door staff because working as a team is important.The Safer bars intervention had an impact on reducing physical aggression in bars. This effect was most apparent for severe aggression and for moderate aggression with definite intent. Participants of the training session rated the training highly and showed significant improvements in knowledge and attidtudes related to preventing aggression and managing problem behaviour.These findings indicate the potential for a stand-alone relatively brief intervention to reduce severe and moderate physical aggression in bars. The positive response to the Safer Bars training and the significant improvement in knowledge and attitudes indicate that programmes of this type have the potential to be an effective public health strategy for reducing bar-related violence and injury.