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Early strikes for CitySafe as new project sees five warnings handed out in Gloucester

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 12, 2014

By Nick Webster

citysafe

New hub for citysafe security at King’s Walk l-r: Luke Bennett (security supervisor), Richard Burge (city safety co-ordinator), Peter White (centre manager) and Chief Inspector Neil Smith.

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Less than two weeks into Gloucester CitySafe and the project’s yellow card scheme is already yielding success.

Anti social behaviour and low level crime in the city centre will see offenders first warned with a yellow card, then banned from the city centre altogether.

So far, five yellow card warnings have been slapped on offenders. Two women have been hit with a warning following two separate altercations at The Registry nightclub. A warning has also been handed out after another nightclub assault and two more people have been caught shoplifting.

A second offence will lead to all five receiving a city wide ban from all businesses - including restaurants, bars, shopping centres, buses and some taxis. The project launched on May 1.

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New CCTV camera monitors in a state of the art security suite were unveiled this week at King’s Walk Shopping Centre.

It is the latest improvements as part of Gloucester’s business crime reduction partnership.

Peter White, King's Walk Shopping Centre manager, said: “We now have almost 30 cameras trained on the shopping centre, King’s Square, the front of Grosvenor House, Clarence Street and other service areas.

“We take the safety and security of all our staff and customers very seriously. The new security suite has enabled us to improve the level of service we offer and we can monitor all areas of the centre and King’s Square.”

The security team at King’s Walk monitor and control the radio system, offering vital support between all CitySafe members and police.

Chief Inspector Neil Smith, who endorsed a successful pilot scheme in Brighton on which Gloucester is based, has been impressed with CitySafe’s early success.

“It is early days but to have 50 members is a massive increase since the launch,” he said. “The interest we are now getting from both day and night economies is very positive. In the near future I’m sure schemes like this will be replicated across the county.

“When you couple the security cameras at King’s Walk with the ones at the police station and at Eastgate Street, we have Gloucester covered.

“It is not about big brother, it is about making people feel safe.

“In other CCTV high density areas in the country like London, Birmingham and Manchester surveys show people feel safer. “Hopefully that will now be the case in Gloucester.”

AFTER weeks of negotiations, supermarket giant Tesco has finally come on-board Gloucester’s CitySafe scheme to offer the project a major boost.

Since its May 1 launch, a further 21 businesses have signed up to the business crime reduction partnership, with Tesco the largest city retailer.

CitySafe manager Richard Burge said: “There were some challenges with Tesco, but fortunately they have now agreed to join us. It is very positive.

“Hopefully it will encourage other businesses to get involved. We want Gloucester to become a no go area for criminals.

“We are up to the 50 mark for businesses that have signed up.

“It is pleasing that businesses are using the yellow card system and issuing them in the appropriate circumstances.

“You can hear on the radio when they are discussing suspected shoplifters and passing on that knowledge.

“Those caught shoplifting have had their photographs put onto the intranet so other businesses are now aware.

“The Tesco security manager was very keen to get involved with the scheme.

“She had been involved with the Shopwatch programme and was keen to follow it by joining CitySafe.

“The more that join, the safer Gloucester will be.”

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4 comments

  • fuldude56  |  May 12 2014, 8:50PM

    It could be that victims of an assault don't want to prosecute

  • tishwash  |  May 12 2014, 6:41PM

    so assault gets you a yellow card these days?

    |   2
  • RoadWombat  |  May 12 2014, 5:40PM

    Yes, and they often are. This is often in addition to a prosecution and also covers those many occasions when people aren't prosecuted but have still committed low-level offences.

    |   2
  • glosres  |  May 12 2014, 4:36PM

    Forgive me, but shouldn't criminals be prosecuted instead of getting a yellow card? Is the first low level offence a freebie?

    |   5

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