Local authorities and business improvement districts (BIDs) across the UK, are increasingly calling on the services of professional security companies, to help tackle the problem of antisocial behaviour in public areas.
For retailers, residents and visitors, antisocial behaviour can be very unpleasant. For example, the individuals involved may be partaking in substance and alcohol abuse; situations may arise that are threatening, alarming or disruptive to the public; and there may be incidents of theft or criminal damage.
At Venture Security, this is a service we have been providing for several years and our officers are currently active in multiple locations across the region, including Andover, Winchester, Basingstoke and Salisbury. We’re also proud to be CSAS approved in Hampshire and Wiltshire, meaning our accredited officers now have low level police powers, allowing them to make an even greater impact and take further pressure off the police.
As well as dealing with antisocial behaviour, our officers – sometimes referred to as ‘Rangers’ - support retailers with issues such as shoplifting, being on call whenever needed; they provide a customer service role and point of contact for visitors; and help street attached individuals find the support they need. They also regularly provide first aid and mental health first aid to members of the public, and in more recent times, have been assisting councils in delivering their Covid-19 marshalling requirements too.
Importantly, they sit at the heart of a partnership model, liaising between key stakeholders, including local authorities, BIDs, the police and other frontline services, and local support organisations.
Having recruited and trained many town and city centre security officers (CCSOs) over the years, we know first-hand that it takes a special kind of person to fulfil such a role. Due to their many responsibilities and the broad range of situations and people they are dealing with, a CCSO needs to be skilled in certain key areas.
They must be able to think on their feet and decide on the best course of action to take, no matter what situation they may be up against, including knowing when to call for backup and support from the wider team, or relevant authorities.
They need an analytical mind that can read any situation accurately, to assess the potential risks and outcomes. They also need to be able to recall details and information, for example to support situations involving the police.
They need to have the confidence to be able to handle any situation that may arise, no matter how challenging or unexpected. To know the rules and use their training to deliver on the outcomes agreed with the customer. That said, a CCSO needs to remain humble and treat people as they would expect to be treated.
They must be able to communicate with individuals across all levels and walks of life, including stakeholders, members of the public, residents and retailers. To be able to read body language and other visual and verbal cues. The CCSOs are also expected to attend key stakeholder meetings so they must be able to suitably represent the company in a professional setting.
Our officers regularly find themselves face-to-face with challenging individuals, who can be abusive and aggressive. Remaining calm and defusing the situation as quickly as possible is essential. All our officers working in this capacity must have either an SIA Door Supervisor or Close Protection Licence due to the element of conflict management required in this role. Strong conflict management skills are essential to ensure incidents are dealt with in a timely, measured and professional way, in line with the SIA physical intervention training.
A large part of the role is talking to and aiding the public, in a way that will leave a positive impression. They are not only representing Venture but our customers too.
Finally, there can be many reasons why someone might be engaging in antisocial behaviour. Our officers need the ability to listen, without preconception or judgement. This is one of the most important, yet challenging skills for any officer.
Venture has launched a new employee benefits reward scheme, giving employees access to a range of local offers and discounts, as well as medical care and support, and access to expert advice services.
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