The latest initiative from the Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership will see more ‘policing’ of the town centres.
In recent years, many towns and cities have become familiar with seeing agencies other than the police operating in the night time economy.
In the Harrogate district, a three-year grant from the Home Office is paying for a pool of four NightSafe Marshals, two of whom will be patrolling Harrogate town centre to support North Yorkshire Police on Friday and Saturday nights between 10.00 pm and 4.00 am when licensed premises are at their busiest.
NightSafe is the established brand name for the delivery of crime reduction schemes by the Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership.
Cllr Nick Brown, Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Rural Affairs for Harrogate Borough Council, says that North Yorkshire Police are a key member of the Community Safety Partnership and fully support this new scheme. He added:
These NightSafe Marshalls are not police. Their role is to support police officers, to provide a reassuring presence on the streets and to intervene when necessary at an early stage to prevent alcohol-related violence. Night Marshals have been used successfully in many town and city centres where they have been able to contribute to reductions in violence and anti-social behaviour.
There may also be occasions when the NightSafe Marshals could be used at other times, such as Bank Holidays or when large sporting events are being televised. They could also be deployed to other areas of the district for events that attract large crowds.
The NightSafe Marshals will have no power of arrest and will be directed by the police at all times. They will carry radio handsets which will link them to the CCTV control and other radio users such as door supervisors and the police. The NightSafe Marshals are employed by Professional Security in Leeds. The company was established in 2003 in the north of England and has grown rapidly. The company operates across the UK and has a staff base in excess of 2500 trained, accredited and licensed security personnel.