From September, Venture’s trained and SIA licensed Rangers will be conducting daily patrols and looking out for issues including alcohol consumption, excessive noise and intimidating behaviour.
They will be liaising closely with Andover BID, the police, council and other stakeholders, to help maintain and improve community safety and will also form an integral part of ‘Op Mazi’ – an initiative launched in 2018 to address anti-social behaviour linked to street-attached individuals.
As well as building relationships with local retailers and taking part in a ShopWatch two-way radio scheme, the officers will be signposting individuals to appropriate support services when needed and overall providing a reassuring presence for town visitors and residents.
Additionally, Venture has been awarded CSAS accreditation in both Hampshire and Wiltshire, meaning accredited officers have certain low-level police powers, giving them even greater scope to deal with antisocial behaviour.
A similar service is already being provided by Venture Security in Basingstoke, Salisbury, Winchester and Fareham. Within these areas, improvements were quick to be seen. Last summer, two of Venture’s city centre security officers were also recognised with an award, for their handling of an armed man in Salisbury.
Paul Howe, managing director at Venture Security, said: “As an Andover company ourselves, we’re very excited to have the opportunity to make a difference in our hometown.
“Antisocial behaviour can be unpleasant for visitors and residents alike, and it has the potential to adversely impact on footfall, the revenue of local retailers and the reputation of the area. Our officers are fully licensed, trained and experienced in dealing with it and look forward to working closely with Andover BID, the police and other stakeholders, to help reduce the issue in the town.”
Steve Godwin, Andover BID manager, commented: “At Andover BID, we are committed to making a visit to Andover Town centre safe, easy and enjoyable and improving the local trading environment. The Rangers are part of our longer-term strategy to improve the shopping and business experience in the town centre. Businesses have been very clear that this is an initiative that they feel should be a priority for BID to deliver in Andover and that’s exactly what we have worked hard to achieve. We are delighted to have been able to award this contract to Venture Security who are market leaders in this very specialised field and are also Andover based.
"Antisocial behaviour has been a long-standing problem in Andover town centre – as it is in most other towns and cities – and it can have a very negative impact. Which is why we’re delighted to be introducing these daily patrols. We have seen in areas such as Salisbury and Winchester just how effective they can be, especially when used as part of a community partnership approach.”
Cllr Phil North, leader of Test Valley Borough Council says “This will be really great for businesses and shoppers and is a fantastic example of the BID and the council working together for the benefit of the town. Andover has huge potential but, like many town centres, it has its problem areas that prove to be a bugbear. The antisocial behaviour around Town Mills pocket park has been an ongoing issue and the police have done their best to tackle this. But with the new ranger scheme in place we hope to put a stop to it for good and improve people’s experience when they visit the town centre.”
Venture Security, based on Dene Road, provides specialist security services to corporate and residential customers based across Hampshire and central, southern England. The company is ranked within the top 1% of UK security providers.
Darren Winter and Ryan Tench from Venture Security have each picked up an ACS Pacesetters Security Officer of Distinction award, with Venture also winning an award highlighting it as one of the top performing ACS companies in the country.
Like many towns and cities, Salisbury city centre has a long-standing issue with anti-social behaviour, including individuals drinking in public, making excessive noise and being intimidating, aggressive or abusive to residents and visitors. Following a competitive tender, Venture security officers now conduct daily patrols of the city centre.
With the UK high street under pressure, councils and local partnership initiatives are increasingly seeking innovative solutions to support the businesses on their patch. One option for tackling such behaviour - which several towns and cities have already explored - is enlisting the support of the private security sector.
It takes confidence and quick thinking to manage antisocial behaviour and our City Centre Security Officers (CCSOs) can regularly find themselves face-to-face with some challenging situations. Which is why we love receiving feedback like this!