Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID), supported by funding from the Lancaster District Community Safety Partnership, are working with ICU security to provide the safety patrols.
Operating out of a base in Queen Street, they will be operating every Friday, Saturday in night in December and on New Year’s Eve to help vulnerable people who may be intoxicated and struggling to get home.
The two-person team, who are Security Industry Authority accredited, will provide water and heat and try to arrange either a taxi or a lift from someone the person knows, with appropriate safeguarding checks also being carried out.
The overarching aim is to ensure people’s welfare, help with taxi issues, and gather footage for evidential purposes.
Ruth Wilkinson, Chair of Morecambe BID, added: “Morecambe BID are pleased that we have been chosen to provide the trial for this initiative in the district.
“The BID night safe patrol will be a high visibility patrol to help members of public on their night out.
“The security team will be friendly, approachable and have good local knowledge.
“We want public to approach them when they need help and likewise night time economy venues can contact the team via the community link radios.
“The BID night safe security patrol can assist if venue staff spot anyone vulnerable that may just need a welfare check or further help.”
In addition, Morecambe BID is relaunching its ‘Safer Nights’ and ‘Ask Angela’ campaigns. Morecambe was the first town in Lancashire to launch the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign.
‘Ask for Angela’ is an innovative campaign enabling those who feel vulnerable in pubs and clubs to discreetly approach staff and request assistance and is being rolled out across the country following successful pilots around the country.
Morecambe BID, in conjunction with Lancashire Police, has produced posters and beer mats to be distributed in local pubs and clubs during the Christmas season.
The ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative aims to reduce sexual violence and vulnerability by providing customers with a non-descript phrase they can use to gain assistance from staff members in order to be separated from the company of someone with whom they feel unsafe due to that person’s actions, words or behaviour.
The initiative – originally launched by Lincolnshire County Council – has already proved successful following a Metropolitan Police pilot in Merton borough.
By “Asking for Angela”, an individual is alerting staff that they require help. They will be taken aside, or to a safer location, so they can speak in confidence to that staff member about what assistance they need.
Options available to staff include offering to call a taxi for the individual; contacting their friends or family; or requesting that an individual causing the distress leaves the venue.