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BID funds safety officers to boost town centre business

TWO LICENSED safety officers will be supporting pubs and restaurants every Friday and Saturday night in Luton town centre this winter. 

Luton BID has funded the officers as a result of feedback from businesses at recent Luton SAFE Pubwatch meetings. 

The two officers, who are licensed by industry body the Security Industry Authority, will assist town centre pubs, restaurants, shops and takeaways by working in partnership with the town centre CCTV and the police.

Safety officers Rahed Choudhury and Bruce Sibiya with doorman Andrew Goodfellow (centre) in the town centre.

The officers will: 

– Conduct foot patrols around the town centre;

– Engage with the night-time economy businesses ;

– Support local outreach teams by identifying vulnerable people at night ;

– Help new visitors navigate the town centre;

– Carry town centre radios, so that any businesses can call for their support;

– Offer support to businesses employees working late at night;

– Have access to the DISC App data intelligence sharing system that links to all the businesses within the town, to identify issues and send out safety messages.  

The BID chairs the Luton Business Against Crime partnership and attends every luton SAFE Pubwatch meeting to hear the views and concerns of town centre businesses and to find out how the BID can support them.

BID manager Julia Horsman pictured said: “We have been working really closely with our hospitality businesses to support them after what has been a really challenging 18 months due to the pandemic. 

“Based on the feedback from these meetings, Luton BID is funding two SIA-licensed safety officers in the town centre this winter every Friday and Saturday night, and we hope that our hospitality businesses will feel the benefit of their presence.”

Doorman Andrew Goodfellow has been a real support to the safety officers. He said: “Having worked around the town for nearly 12 years and on nearly all the doors, it has been really important for me to have the chance to be included with this project and to use my experience to support the officers to build up the level of trust and recognition within the town centre, so people understand that they are there to support business venues and vulnerable people around the town.”

The initiative follows a joint Safe Night for Everyone campaign launched in October by Luton pubs to reassure customers they are doing everything they can to ensure a safe night out in the town after the recent national spotlight on drink spiking concerns.

Business can use their Luton Safe or Luton Business Against Crime radio to contact officers for assistance and to make them aware of any issues. 

For more information on how town centre businesses can become a member of LBAC, visit www.lutonbid.org/luton-business-against-crime.

Local businesses brought ‘sparkle and shine’ to Luton’s town centre streets during a dedicated clean-up ahead of the Christmas light switch-on this Saturday. 

More than 40 volunteers from Clearhead Media, The Mall, Tokko Youth Space, Luton Library, Luton Rotary Club and staff from Luton Council took part in the Tidy Hour organised by Luton Business Improvement District in partnership with community group Asset Based Community Development.

Pupils and teachers from Chantry Primary School also helped, along with Luton Council representatives who were on hand to dispose of sharps and waste. 

The aim was to get the town centre looking its best for ‘Lighting up Luton’ on Saturday (November 27).

Luton BID manager Julia Horsman said: “Thousands of families and visitors will come into Luton town centre this weekend for the annual switch-on. Thousands more people will be Christmas shopping over the coming weeks too so we wanted to get the streets and pavements looking their best. 

“We are delighted with the results and the fantastic team effort. It’s down to members of the public now to properly discard their rubbish so that our town centre can stay looking clean and tidy all year round.”

Lighting up Luton will take place on Saturday (November 27), with PAW Patrol’s Chase and Marshall entertaining families at intervals between 1.15pm and 4.15pm on George Street, with stage entertainment from 2pm.

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