24 November 2021| | 5 min read
Major investment planned to enhance city centre safety
Significant investment is set to be made to increase security in Newcastle and improve the safety of those enjoying the city’s famed nightlife.
Newcastle City Council has approved plans to invest nearly £300,000 in a range of measures, including:
- Deploying uniformed marshals to enhance presence of security personnel in the city centre
- Delivering more training to licensed premises and door staff
- Upgrading CCTV infrastructure at key strategic locations
- Installing upgraded life-saving equipment along the Quayside
- Improving street lighting at Old Eldon Square
- Providing funds to private hire taxi trade to increase taxi branding
- Accelerating ‘Best Practice’ inspections of licensed premises which encourages them to operate in the best way to keep customers safe
- Funding provision of drinks covers to deter spiking
This includes a successful bid for more than £100,00 to the Home Office’s Safety of Women at Night (SWAN) fund as well as investment from Newcastle’s Late Night Levy scheme.
This will provide resources to pilot uniformed marshals to help safeguard people enjoying the city’s nightlife offer; support and expand provision the Safe Haven Van in partnership with North East Ambulance Service, St John’s Ambulance, Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Northumbria Police; increase capacity of licensing-led inspections to support local venues to meet their licensing requirements; and deliver training programmes.
Changing Lives will be supported to deliver training to a range of professionals to help make sure they are skilled to properly and correctly respond to reports of sexual offences. In addition to this, Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland will extend delivery of the ‘Shout Up!’ training programme to now include door staff to upskill them to recognise and respond to sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour both inside and outside of venues.
This bid was submitted in partnership with Northumbria Police, North East Ambulance Service, Changing Lives, and Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland.
Cllr Clare-Penny Evans, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for Climate Change and Public Safety, and Chair of the safe Newcastle Board, said: “Newcastle is renowned for its night-time offer and that is part of what makes the city such an attractive place for people to live in or to visit.
“Already, a huge amount of work from a range of key partners goes into keeping people safe in the city, but we are constantly striving to improve the offer to make sure members of the public are confident in going out in Newcastle, and that the venues and services that support them are equipped to keep members of the public safe.
“The safety of everybody is of the upmost importance, but we must continue to emphasise the significance of the safety of women as we know that is of great concern to women and girls everywhere.
“As a council, this is something we are acutely aware of and we are in process of applying for accreditation to the White Ribbon campaign which seeks to end male violence against women and girls, and our successful partnership bid to the Safety of Women at Night fund and the additional measures we are implementing demonstrate our commitment to ensuring everybody can be confident they are being kept as safe as possible while they enjoy themselves in our great city.”
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison said: “We very much welcome this investment which will build on the considerable work already under way to help ensure Newcastle remains one of the safest cities in the country to enjoy a night out.
“This further reinforces our commitment to working with partners and listening to our communities to develop measures to keep people safe and increase confidence.
“As a Force, we work with Newcastle City Council, charities, businesses, licensees, door supervisors, hotel staff and taxi drivers, so we can all come together to help ensure those who want to enjoy a night out can do so in a safe and friendly environment.
“In 2019, we also launched a pioneering pilot scheme known as Operation Cloak in the city centre, an initiative which sees dedicated officers on patrol in our night-time economy to protect those who may be vulnerable and target anyone looking to commit offences. This has now been rolled-out elsewhere in our region and other parts of the country.
“By continuing to seek investment and working together, we can build on such initiatives in the city and across the North East.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said “It’s no surprise to me that time and time again Newcastle is voted as the best party city and the more that we do together to make sure it’s a safe one too, the better.
“There’s lots of great work in place already in terms of training those who work in the night-time economy and protecting the vulnerable and these plans really build on this and show just how much of a priority it is that people are safe on a night out in our city.”