High-profile ‘Evening Guardians’ have been recruited by Solihull BID to provide a reassuring presence in the town centre on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Guardians patrol Solihull town centre between 8pm-1am on Friday and Saturdays and help to reinforce the message that anti-social behaviour and crime at bars, restaurants and clubs will not be tolerated.
Working alongside venue door staff and West Midlands Police PCSOs, early feedback for the new patrols has been ‘overwhelmingly positive’.
In addition to the new Evening Guardians, Solihull BID – the Business Improvement District for the town centre – employs a team of Town Hosts to welcome visitors and support to businesses during the day.
Both Guardians are fully trained to diffuse incidents using safe restraining techniques. The duo wear lapel video cameras, and are connected to relevant radio and CCTV networks.
A report is prepared at the end of every weekend which details incidents. This is shared with the BID and police to help research crime hot-spots.
Melanie Palmer BID Director said: “We want to send out the message that we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour or any form of crime in the town centre and we are delighted to introduce the BID Evening Guardians to help support this.
“Feedback from our bars and restaurants has been overwhelmingly positive and they love the fact that there are regular faces on the street to co-ordinate information between the venues, direct the public to events and to generally assist in the safety of the area at night.
“They are working closely with the Local Policing team and other relevant organisations to ensure a strong partnership approach to the safety of our town centre.”
The Guardians are hired from security experts iSec Security. Barri Dhillon of iSec, who is also an Evening Guardian, said: “Solihull has a cosmopolitan environment and is a fantastic place to work with the public and partnership organisations.
“We have already received such a positive reception from businesses and we will be looking to work with them to help support their operation, as well as working with the Solihull Neighbourhood Policing Team to share intelligence and make Solihull a safer place.
“With a population of just over 206,000 people, the team at the BID are working hard to ensure that Solihull is the hub of entertainment and hospitality for residents and visitors."