A pilot scheme to keep people safe on nights out in Plymouth’s Waterfront Business Improvement District (BID) has been hailed a success.
The Evening Ambassadors scheme was a six-week pilot launched in December in which two teams of Ambassadors patrolled the area and used a radio network to report any issues directly to the Council’s CCTV Control Room. On Saturdays between 21 November and 31 December 2015, each team dealt with roughly 20 incidents on each night, including a stabbing in which the injured party said the Evening Ambassadors “saved his life.”
Although the pilot has now ended it has been seen as a success and it is hoped that the project may be able to be resumed at some point, subject to funding. The Evening Ambassadors dealt with a total of 308 incidents during the pilot, including:
- 40 incidents where people were vulnerable or alone/separated from group of friends
- 38 incidents of public nuisance
- 34 incidents relating to public safety
- 28 requests for reassurance
- 25 enquiries from the public
- 24 incidents of people being drunk and irrational
The scheme was funded by Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Plymouth City Council, the Safer Plymouth Partnership, and the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner, and was initiated by the city’s 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: “This was a great scheme and a fantastic example of partnership working. The Evening Ambassadors were an asset to the city, representing all the partner organisations in a consistently professional manner, and made a real difference to Plymouth’s evening and night time economy. The Ambassadors helped to maintain Plymouth’s reputation for being a safe city.”
Sarah Gibson, Waterfront Manager, said: “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 were one of the first initiatives launched by Michael since he started and came about as the result of discussions and joint planning with local businesses, the Safer Plymouth partnership, the police, the council, Plymouth University and the Street Pastors.
“The data we have from the pilot shows that the scheme did make a difference and we will be looking at how to take this forward and build on it in the future.”
Michael Connor said: “Although the pilot was only for six weeks I’m pleased with how it went.
“Our Evening Ambassadors dealt with a wide variety of issues and did a great job of helping keep people safe, including helping people who were separated, alone and vulnerable. They provided a friendly and helpful face and also had the back up support of our CCTV Control Centre who were able to alert other partners to attend incidents as required.”