Leeds clubs pay for additional police during busy periods

22 August 2011

Extra bobbies will be on the Bank Holiday beat in Leeds city centre thanks to funding from some of the major nightclubs and bars.

The City Neighbourhood Policing Team will be running its successful ‘Street Marshals’ scheme – where licensed doorstaff go out on patrol alongside local officers – throughout what is expected to be the busiest weekend of the year.

However, a number of the city’s biggest and most popular clubs are also paying for additional police officers to patrol the streets surrounding their premises during high-profile events hosted by the venues.

Several venues regularly pay for the extra police officers on bank holiday weekends, in addition to paying for additional members of doorstaff to work as part of the ‘Street Marshals’ scheme.

Chief Inspector Vernon Francis, of West Yorkshire Police’s City and Holbeck Division, is responsible for policing in Leeds city centre and devised the Street Marshals scheme.

Chief Inspector Francis said:

The reason Leeds city centre is such a safe place to be is because local officers and local businesses are committed to cutting crime and ensuring people’s safety.

The fact that a number of premises are willing to put their hands in their pockets to pay for extra officers on the streets, not to mention the doorstaff they already pay for as part of the ‘Street Marshals’ scheme, is testament to this.

The August Bank Holiday is traditionally the busiest weekend of the year in Leeds city centre, and anyone coming into the city centre can expect to see extra officers out on high-visibility patrols to offer ensure people stay safe and feel safe too.

The Street Marshals scheme involves premises with a vested interest in Leeds city centre’s night-time economy paying for an additional member of doorstaff to patrol areas alongside police officers, police community support officers (PCSOs), and special constables.

Patrols start with street briefings involving police officers and PCSOs from local Neighbourhood Policing Teams, along with Response officers, special constables, and officers from British Transport Police.

All doorstaff who take part in the scheme wear yellow high-visibility bibs which identify them as part of the teams, and are fully-registered with the SIA.

Chief Inspector Vernon Francis said:

The scheme is unique because it is the only one of its kind in the country where licensees pay for the additional staff. In days where money is tight for everyone it is great to see local businesses sharing responsibility for public safety, which also saves on police resources and ultimately is less of a burden on the taxpayer.

There are limits to the policing levels we can provide and it is great to see local businesses sharing responsibility for public safety, by funding extra resources and making the city centre an even safer place to be.

Should Harrogate Night Clubs follow this lead and pay for additional Policing at busy times ?

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