Professional Security featured Venture’s similar work in nearby Salisbury, Winchester and Basingstoke in the January and February 2020 print editions; including, pictured, patrollers Mark East (with moustache) and Robin Arnott.
From September, Venture’s SIA licensed Rangers will be doing daily patrols and looking out for such issues as outdoor alcohol consumption, excessive noise and intimidating behaviour. As in their similar work in those other places, the Venture officers will be liaising; with Andover BID, the police, council and others, to help maintain and improve community safety. In the Hampshire town Venture will also form an integral part of ‘Op Mazi’ – an initiative launched in 2018 to address anti-social behaviour linked to street-attached individuals.
As well as building relationships with local retailers and taking part in a ShopWatch two-way radio scheme, the officers will be pointing individuals to support services when needed and overall providing a reassuring presence for town visitors and residents.
Venture has been awarded CSAS (community safety accreditation scheme) in Hampshire and Wiltshire, meaning that its trained and accredited officers have some low-level police powers, allowing scope to deal with anti-social behaviour.
That similar service is most recently also being provided by Venture in Fareham. As featured in Professional Security, in each place the service is making a difference. Last summer, two of Venture’s city centre security officers were recognised with an award, for their handling of an armed man in Salisbury.
Last year Professional Security also featured similar public space security patrols (by other contractors) in Solihull, York, and Plymouth; as a sign of a trend of a mixed policing and securing of town centres, beset by so-called low level crime while retail centres are struggling to attract and retain customers; hence the significant role of BIDs, each with a budget and a mandate from their area’s businesses to provide a more visible presence on high streets than the increasingly fire-brigade like police, no matter how willing, are able to provide due to austerity.
What they say
Paul Howe, managing director at Venture, said: “As an Andover company ourselves, we’re very excited to have the opportunity to make a difference in our hometown. Antisocial behaviour can be unpleasant for visitors and residents alike, and it has the potential to adversely impact on footfall, the revenue of local retailers and the reputation of the area. Our officers are fully licensed, trained and experienced in dealing with it and look forward to working closely with Andover BID, the police and other stakeholders, to help reduce the issue in the town.”
Steve Godwin, Andover BID manager, said: “At Andover BID, we are committed to making a visit to Andover Town centre safe, easy and enjoyable and improving the local trading environment. The Rangers are part of our longer-term strategy to improve the shopping and business experience in the town centre. Businesses have been very clear that this is an initiative that they feel should be a priority for BID to deliver in Andover and that’s exactly what we have worked hard to achieve.
“We are delighted to have been able to award this contract to Venture Security who are market leaders in this very specialised field and are also Andover based. Anti-social behaviour has been a long-standing problem in Andover town centre – as it is in most other towns and cities – and it can have a very negative impact. Which is why we’re delighted to be introducing these daily patrols. We have seen in areas such as Salisbury and Winchester just how effective they can be, especially when used as part of a community partnership approach.”
And Phil North, leader of Test Valley Borough Council, based in Andover, says “This will be really great for businesses and shoppers and is a fantastic example of the BID and the council working together for the benefit of the town. Andover has huge potential but, like many town centres, it has its problem areas that prove to be a bugbear. The antisocial behaviour around Town Mills pocket park has been an ongoing issue and the police have done their best to tackle this. But with the new ranger scheme in place we hope to put a stop to it for good and improve people’s experience when they visit the town centre.”
About Venture Security
The SIA ACS firm, a member of the ACS Pacesetters group of guard firms, provides specialist security services to corporate and residential customers based across Hampshire and central, southern England. Visit www.venturesec.co.uk.