Red Card Scheme
Through our Southampton Business Crime Partnership, the Red Card (Exclusion Notice) Scheme is in place to keep those who work, live and visit the city safe from others and prevent repeat offences, particularly in the evening and night-time economy.
The Red Card scheme was introduced a few years ago in the city. As this is a well-known format with businesses, door staff and individuals, GO! Southampton will be working with partners to update & promote the scheme Autumn 2023.
The Red Card Scheme may also be known as the Exclusion Notice scheme.
- An exclusion notice scheme [ENS] invests authority in a third-party agency to withdraw the tacit permission of named individuals to enter private properties that, under normal circumstances, are open to the public e.g., shops, bars, nightclubs
- Members of the scheme must give the third-party agency, in this case Southampton Business Crime Partnership [SBCP], formal authorisation to act on their behalf and exclude individuals from their premises either by signing an exclusion scheme agreement or checking the appropriate box on the ‘must read’ documentation downloaded from DISC.
- If a venue or an area suffers from persistent known offenders, such schemes are a powerful tool to remedy problems of anti-social behaviour, theft and general crime and disorder. They are civil schemes and have no legal authority but breach of an exclusion notice [caused by the individual entering or attempting to enter premises from which he/she has been excluded] can cause alarm, distress and harassment which can contribute towards evidence for a Criminal Behaviour Order [CBO].
- Exclusion notice schemes withdraw an element of liberty from an individual; therefore, they will be used judiciously and must be: –
- fair and applied to everyone equally
- robustly evidenced
- proportionate & time limited
- open to appeal [with a formal procedure]
- business led
- Although statutory bodies can provide evidence and information, the police and/or local authority are not involved in decisions to exclude individuals to avoid exclusion notice schemes becoming a ‘public function’.
- The default position of any scheme should be not to exclude an individual unless there is good reason to do
The decision to exclude an individual is based upon the receipt of incident reports from SBCP members, Police, and partner agencies. A points-based system is used allocating points depending on the seriousness of the crime.
Once agreed by the Partnership, the exclusion is communicated to the individual either by being served in person or by post. The letter does not have to be sent recorded delivery [indeed such letters are often declined by offenders as a matter of course!]. The exclusion notice will include:
- the Offenders Privacy Statement to conform to GDPR requirements [this is included again even if it has already been received by the offender with a previous warning letter].
- the date and nature of the incidents that have triggered the exclusion
- the start and end date of the exclusion term
- details of the exclusion daytime or night-time or list of businesses the offender is excluded.
- the appeal procedure
The offender photo, date of birth and details of the exclusion term will be added to the offender database and the secure intranet so that the individual can be identified and denied entry to SBCP member
A “red card” will revoke your implied permission to enter any licensed premises within the area of GO! Southampton Business Improvement District and members of licensing link.
If you are a business looking for more information on the scheme or if you are an individual who has received a Red Card and is looking to speak with someone please contact our the SBCP team at SBCP@gosouthampton.co.uk.
If the evidence base is robust, valid reasons for appeal against an exclusion notice are very limited. Usually, offenders cite simply that the exclusion is “not fair”. A valid reason might be mistaken identity or if there are other exceptional mitigating circumstances [especially applicable to minors]. Nevertheless, an appeal process upon the issue of an exclusion notice will be offered to offenders.
The starting point for an appeal is a written request from the excluded individual giving the reasons why the exclusion should be removed or waived. Occasionally an offender will instruct a solicitor to challenge the exclusion. Upon receipt of a solicitor’s letter, usually asking for details of the offences resulting in an exclusion notice being issued or a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 2018, the partnership will request proof that the solicitor has been appointed by the offender.
Divulging information to a third party without such proof will compromise the integrity of the data held on the individual and contravene the Act.
To encourage a change of behaviour in the offender the SBCP may consider applying other circumstances under which the exclusion notice can be waived. An offender can appeal prior to the 12-month expiry of the notice if he/she has been free of incidents for six months after the commencement date of the exclusion. Appeals supported by a social worker, or an anti-social behaviour caseworker are more likely to be successful along with evidence of attendance at an alcohol diversion course or anger management course.
There is no requirement for the excluded individual to appear in person once the written appeal is received. The appropriate panel will discuss the case and review all available evidence presented and the decision to uphold or remove the exclusion will be the decision of the panel. If the offender has court cases pending in relation to the exclusion, their appeal cannot be heard until the outcome of the case. Consideration will be given to the offender to reduce the time of exclusion or remove if they agree to sign an agreement of good behaviour.
If a notice is waived it will be with the condition that a single future incident of anti-social behaviour or related incident within the original exclusion term will result in an automatic 12-month exclusion without the right to appeal.