A new pilot scheme to help keep people safe on nights out in Plymouth’s Waterfront Business Improvement District (BID) has been launched.
The Evening Ambassadors is a joint scheme funded by Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Plymouth City Council, the Safer Plymouth Partnership, and the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner. The Ambassadors will patrol the area and be available for help and support, and use a radio network to report any issues directly to the Council’s CCTV Control Room. The Council has a network of 325 CCTV cameras and the CCTV Control Room can alert other partners to attend any incidents as required.
The scheme is a six week pilot and one of a number of initiatives launched by the city’s new Evening and Night Time Economy (ENTE) Coordinator Michael Connor, to tackle anti-social behaviour and help people have a good time on nights out in Plymouth.
Councillor Philippa Davey, Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities for Plymouth City Council, said: “Following my Halloween night out observing the operation for the Evening and Night Time Economy with Michael Connor and Sarah Gibson, Waterfront Manager, the pilot is very welcome. The Evening Ambassadors is a fantastic new initiative and will support other work we do to ensure local people can enjoy nights out and minimise anti-social behaviour. It is a great example of what can be achieved through partnership working, and the fact they are linked in with the Council’s CCTV Control Room, which is monitored 24/7, is a great advantage.
“The evening and night time economy is an important and growing part of our city’s economic base and it is really important for us to work with partner agencies to support this growth. Plymouth has a strong reputation for being a safe city and the Evening Ambassadors will complement the work Michael is doing to help reduce anti-social behaviour.”
Sarah Gibson, Waterfront Manager, said: “The new Ambassadors play an important role in the run up to Christmas, supporting all the pubs and clubs when they are even busier than usual during the festive season. The Waterfront Business Improvement District area features primary evening and night time business areas including the Barbican, Bretonside and the Royal William Yard. The Ambassadors are one of the first initiatives launched by Michael since he started and are the result of discussions and joint planning with local businesses, the Safer Plymouth partnership, the police, the council, Plymouth University and the Street Pastors.”
Michael Connor started in the Plymouth role in October having worked in a similar role in Coventry, and as part of the role he will champion the needs of licensees, work with police, council and partner agencies.
Michael said: “We want to work with local licensees and with those using their services, to ensure they have a good night out, keep safe and address any problems at the earliest opportunity. Evening Ambassadors are there to help, they are approachable and we have both male and female Ambassadors to make sure people are happy to ask for assistance if needed.
“Working with the council staff in the CCTV control room will be key to the success of this scheme – they are our eyes and ears, and our lifeline too. They are a great team and do an excellent job.”
Initially the Evening Ambassadors pilot will run until 31 December but there may be a potential for it to be extended.