With the non-essential shops reopening on the 12th April, the town rangers were on hand to keep the town centre safe and secure. Last month the town centre rangers recovered almost £5,000 of stolen stock.
The town security team, supplied by local business Venture security brought and maintained a safe feeling for shoppers and businesses and that continued as the non-essential shops reopened again. There were 437 occurrences with many of the Begging, ASB (Anti-Social behaviour), and business loss prevention. There has been an increase in begging but it is a minority of the nominals that are continuing to offend.
The highly visible rangers David Lacey and Aarron Bateson have been ensuring that Andover town centre continues to be a safe place to shop and eat and provides local businesses the security for their premises.
Work continues with the special patrols around Babbage House where youths are gaining access but the Rangers managed to obtain contact details which were passed on to TVBC and letters sent out to the parents. The Rangers have been monitoring Riverside Park for ASB but all appears to be relatively calm but may change as the weather improves. There are some problems around the old M&S building where youths are gaining access to the roof and inside the building. The Rangers have established contact with the building owners as there is a safety risk with one of the nominals having let off fire extinguishers out onto the High Street from inside the building.
The Rangers have played a big part in store loss prevention and to date they have managed to recover nearly £5,000 in stolen stock. The busiest day was of the month was a Friday with the peak time of around 10:00 which is where the Rangers carry out their patrols and then again at 14:00 which is where ASB/Shoplifting appears.
New categories have been added to the report including the PSPO category and this will be provide useful statistical reporting for May. The Rangers attended four First Aid incidents including a female having a fit in the High Street and providing help until paramedics arrived. There was an incident where Rangers attended a five year old lost child in Lidl car park which involved police intervention before the parent returned to their car.
The BID Shopwatch Radio scheme is continuing to gain momentum with additional radios supplied to businesses including the market manager. Usage and intel through the radios is significantly increasing.
Steve Godwin who runs BID said “Because the Rangers have become an established part of the town centre, they have managed to get under the skin of many of the daily problems. A uniformed presence is not only reassuring to members of the public but a great community asset for businesses and other agencies.
“The rangers have become a familiar presence who know the town inside out and understand the needs of our local people and businesses. The impressive reports for April just demonstrates the range of issues they deal with on a daily basis. One high street business has said they are delighted with the introduction of the rangers and the BID two-way radio system to be able to report a whole range of issues from medical incidents to Anti-social behaviour, loss prevention and even recently a lost child.
“These are fully trained professionals, friendly and intuitive, working closely with the police and other agencies whilst at all times maintaining a calm and receptive approach to the needs of local businesses and people.”