The Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership brought partners together last Friday night (20 December 2013) to keep the town centre safe.
Known as Builder’s Friday, traditionally a night when the town can be busy as many people finish for the Christmas period partners felt it was an opportunity to work together in the town centre.
The aim for the night was to:
- Reduce the incidents of violence with the town centre
- Ensure that people who are already drunk are not entering premises and actively encouraged to go home
- Reduce the number of individuals being taken to A&E
- Reduce the incidents of anti-social and drunken behaviour in the town
- Reduce the incidents of vomiting and urinating in shop entrances
- Control the level of noise within the town centre
- Provide a safe environment for those within the night time economy
- Reduce the number of victims of ASB, violence and verbal abuse.
- Support any persons who are vulnerable due to factors such as alcohol consumption and the effects of weather (rain & cold).
Overall the night was a success with a small number of arrests and people needing assistance from the dedicated ambulance crews, night marshals and street pastors.
The night marshals who regularly patrol on a Friday and Saturday night worked closely with the door staff and were effective in turning people away who were drunk and assisting with finding taxis.
The CCTV staff were crucial to the night as they directed staff through the radio system linking all agencies and the door staff
Chris Moffatt from the Ambulance Service said: We spoke to a number of people on the night and they were reassured by our presence and gave us positive feedback, we hope to work in this way in the future.
Sgt Tom Jackson who coordinated the police activity for the night commented: This is what partnership working is about, it has been great to have a number of colleagues from a mixture of agencies working together to keep Harrogate town safe for those enjoying a night out and for the staff who work in our vibrant night time economy. Hopefully we can adopt this approach in the future.
Dr Helen Law Consultant, Emergency Medicine & Director of Medical Education who supported the work commented: This is a very busy time of year for all the emergency services. It is important that we work together to improve safety on our streets and I am grateful to colleagues from the Community Safety Partnership for their efforts to reduce the pressure on the emergency department on what could be one of our busiest nights of the year.
Councillor Margaret Atkinson, Chair of the Community Safety Partnership said: The majority of people enjoy a night out, there are however a few people who spoil it for others or even need assistance themselves, this joint approach demonstrates how effective we can be to tackle issues that have an impact on our nigh time economy.
The Community Safety Partnership plans to undertake this approach in the future and have recognised how it can be improved.