Solihull BID has appointed two high-profile Enforcement Officers to support its long-term strategy to provide a safe and welcoming Solihull town centre.
The new Enforcement Officers have been recruited to act as a robust measure to deter and disrupt criminal and anti-social behaviour, ensuring Solihull remains a safe and secure destination for all.
Starting their roles in August, Jason and Liz, will be on patrol across the town centre between during retail opening hours.
Being accredited by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), their duties involve supporting retailers to reduce thefts and identify offenders, responding to low level anti-social behaviour and street begging whilst assisting rough sleepers by signposting them to the relevant support agency.
The Enforcement Officers will work alongside the BID’s team of Town Hosts, who have become a familiar and welcoming service to help visitors and businesses across the town centre.
The two are being funded by Solihull BID, the Business Improvement District for hundreds of town centre retailers, restaurants, leisure destinations and office-based businesses.
The BID works alongside organisations such as Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, West Midlands Police, Touchwood and Mell Square owners I.M. Properties to prioritise safety and help the town centre retain its status as one of the safest and most welcoming areas in the UK.
Tackling crime, anti-social behaviour and street begging is a crucial part of the BID’s activity for its third term, which, if successful following a ballot of BID member businesses in October 2019, will begin in August 2020.
The BID has also recently announced a partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority ‘Change Into Action’ alternative giving scheme.
Change Into Action encourages people to donate to charities and organisations who are able to offer expert support to the homeless.
The BID is encouraging people to donate to Change Into Action as an alternative way of giving, while leaflets are being handed out to the general public informing them of what support is already in place and who to contact with any concerns they may have. Four BID member businesses – Sporting Barbers, Specsavers, William Hill and Touchwood – have collection tins to assist with those who would prefer to donate change than go online.
Solihull BID CEO Melanie Palmer said: “From August this year you will see leaflets in all of our businesses educating the public on what is already being done to help the increasing levels of rough sleepers and beggars and how to join the campaign to help change lifestyles and enable a safe journey back into the workplace and society.
“We have two new operatives who will be in place for four days per week working with our Town Hosts and the Council to direct beggars and rough sleepers to a safe space to get the help they may need.
“If you want to come and talk to us and share your thoughts, then you can find the BID Gazebo on the High Street from 12pm – 3pm every Thursday.
“Delivering the message to the public about an alternative way to give will be contentious and our pathway moving forward will certainly not be easy. Our message is clear, however, we are here to help and drive the change into action needed to save lives, treating everyone with respect along the way.”