The role of security officers in Suffolk town centres

It’s well known that town centres are changing. More and more shops are closing. Police numbers are falling. The number of bobbies on the beat is lower than ever. So, what does the future hold for the security of these urban areas?

Where are the uniformed police officers?

According to a 2017 survey by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), 44% of people said they had not seen a uniformed police officer on foot in their area in the past year. This belief was reinforced by the East Anglian Daily Times who found this number to be as high as 88% amongst Suffolk residents.

The reason for this is a 12% fall in the number of equivalent full-time Suffolk police officers between 2010 and 2017.

This article is not to put down anything that the police service does. They do a difficult job with limited resources and understandably they’ve had to prioritise 999 calls and public order offences. It just serves to highlight the problem that exists.

What can security companies in Suffolk do to improve town centre security?

One of the ways local councils and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are combating this shortfall is by introducing Town Wardens, Rangers or Enforcement Officers.

Providing a visible, uniformed presence on the streets, Town Rangers provide help to visitors as well as deterring crime. Trained with similar skills to a PCSO, the Rangers are able to assist with town centre events, providing essential first aid services as and when required. Often accessible via radio, Rangers can help businesses with any issues they may face, such as shoplifting or anti-social behaviour.

Often managed through a security company, these rangers are fully trained to deal with these incidents, acting as a bridge between businesses and the emergency services.

Security officers in East Anglia

Some of the towns and cities in East Anglia currently benefitting from these Rangers include Newmarket, Cambridge and Ipswich. Whilst not able to arrest individuals, Rangers are trained to deal with potentially volatile situations. And, thanks to their proximity to town centres, are often first on the scene following an incident. Although not a substitute for actual police officers, these Rangers look sure to provide a useful service in the future.

Security for businesses in Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Thetford

If your business is based in East Anglia and you’re looking for a security solution, Abbey Security can help. We’ve been providing mobile patrols and other security services to businesses throughout Cambridgeshire and Suffolk since 1985. To find out how a professional security company can benefit your business, please contact us on 01284 768832 or fill in our contact form.

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Posted on July 16, 2018

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