With the general election just a mere sniff away, we talk to the ultimate mistress of safety, Claire Richter from Serenity Security about this month’s hottest of hot topics….
Last month it was reported that The GMP (Greater Manchester Police) may have to cut a further 400 frontline officers (that’s on top of the 1100 already lost since 2010) as part of the austerity cuts public services are being made to adopt.
GMP chief constable Sir Peter Fahy is worried that GMP will become a ‘reactive police force.’ In terms of the night time economy (NTE), if the police are only able to react (ie: deal with an incident after it has happened instead of having a visible presence acting as a deterrent), then this means that criminals are potentially able to exploit this cut-induced loophole with an increase in street robberies, sexual assault, drug dealing and general anti-social and criminal behavior.
As part of the ’wider police family’, door supervisors working in the NTE have a close working relationship with the local police. Whilst we don’t have a policing role and are strictly civilian, one of our main roles is to uphold the licensing objectives of the 2003 Licensing Act. These objectives include the prevention of crime and disorder, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm and public safety.
Breach of these objectives often takes us into the realm of criminality where we have to have police assistance (for example to arrest someone who has committed assault or to apprehend a drug dealer or pick-pocket).
The impact of further cuts to the police service is worrying as it means potentially longer waiting times for police attendance, particularly on weekends when they’re already stretched to the limit. If, for example, I have detained someone who has committed a criminal offence and I’m waiting for the Police to come and arrest that individual, then both myself and often another door supervisor will be tied up until we can hand that person over.
GMP and doorstaff work hard to keep people safe who are out enjoying a drink in Manchester at night. You can help us to do this by taking care of your own personal safety.
Stay with your friends and don’t wander off on your own.
Don’t leave your drink unattended.
Have an exit strategy (a pre-booked taxi for example – don’t use unlicensed taxis).
Don’t get your £600 iPhone out in the street in the early hours.
Seek assistance from doorstaff if you have any safety concerns
And don’t get so wasted that you lose your keys/phone/money or even your mind!
You get the picture. Stay safe folks.