Venture’s fully trained and licensed security officers are patrolling the streets, as part of Winchester BID’s commitment to providing a safer environment to live, work, study and visit.
The initiative is part of a collaboration between Winchester BID, Winchester City Council Community Safety Team and Hampshire Constabulary that aims to provide extra support to the local business community.
Jane Bastock, Business Crime Reduction Manager at Winchester BID, said: “We are excited to announce this scheme. The rangers will provide a professional and reassuring presence within the city centre. They will be providing frontline customer service, handling situations as they arise and supporting the other frontline emergency services, carrying out regular daily patrols to help act as a deterrent whilst becoming a welcoming and reassuring sight and presence for the public.
“The Rangers will take a friendly approach to deter antisocial behaviour and disorderly conduct and act as a deterrent against potential crime as well as being a welcoming presence to residents and visitors, helping to provide directions and public information and assistance.
“The Rangers will also play an important ambassadorial role in the city and help tourists and visitors with directions and be a welcoming presence on the street, whilst also playing a supportive role to the many independent retailers and helping to keep our city safe”
A further aim of the initiative is to improve information sharing and partnership working, and the Rangers will be liaising closely with all partners involved, including the local council and police.
Sara Howe, General Manager of Venture Security, said: “Antisocial behaviour is a common problem within any town or city centre location. As well as being unpleasant for residents and visitors, it has the potential to adversely impact on footfall, local retailers and more broadly, the reputation of the area. We are looking forward to working closely with BID and the other partner organisations to help combat crime and help to develop a community security presence on the street."
Jon Turton, Police Inspector Winchester City Centre Team, said: “We are looking forward to working closely together and believe this is an exciting step forward to dealing with and reassuring the local community in street safety.”
The Rangers provided by Venture are easily recognisable in their smart, dark blue uniforms which display a “Winchester BID Ranger” logo. They have also become part of the well-established radio link schemes, Pubwatch and Shopwatch.
Venture Security has become one of the first companies in Hampshire to be accredited under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) for city centre security, giving accredited officers low level police powers.
Manned security guarding can benefit a business in several ways. The physical presence of a security professional on the premises can act as an effective deterrent, while offering protection for staff against the risk of assault or injury.