A unique scheme funded by the University of Warwick will provide “Street Marshals” on weekday nights in Royal Leamington Spa for the rest of the 2013/14 academic year.
Warwick District Council, Warwickshire Police and SafetyNet Security Group have collaborated with the University and the Students’ Union in this initiative, which aims to help protect the University’s students after enjoying a night out, and to promote positive community relations by encouraging the students to behave responsibly whilst walking through residential areas.
The University has agreed to fund the Street Marshals scheme until the end of the summer term, at a total cost of £50,000, following a successful pilot carried out during the 2013 autumn term.
The Street Marshals scheme was devised in order to respond to concerns expressed by some South Leamington residents about noise disturbance coming from the street, as people return home from a night out, and because of evidence that suggests some students may get into difficulties after drinking heavily. Increasing numbers of Warwick University students have chosen to live in Leamington in recent years – in the last academic year, there were around 5,000 Warwick students living in the town, mostly in the South.
Warwick District Council has contracted with SafetyNet Security Group to provide the marshals.
SafetyNet recruit and directly employ the marshals, who will are all licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), and fully trained. Warwickshire Police have given some powers to SafetyNet to enable the marshals to carry out their duties, under the Home Office’s Community Safety Accreditation Schemes (CSAS).
Councillor Michael Coker, Portfolio Holder for Health & Community Protection at Warwick District Council said,
This is a national first and a unique partnership. This would not have been possible without the financial commitment of the University, the support of the Chief Constable and the enthusiasm of the Students Union. This is an important part of our early intervention approach in making Royal Leamington Spa a safer place.”
Ken Sloan, Registrar of the University of Warwick, said,
We have agreed to fund the Street Marshals scheme in order to support our students living in Leamington, and to respond positively to the concerns expressed by some members of the local community. The scheme is one of a number of investments the University is making in Leamington, to the benefit of students and other residents.”
Superintendent Debbie Tedds, South Warwickshire Policing Area Commander said,
This is an excellent and unique initiative which demonstrates really strong partnership working and we are delighted that the pilot was successful and the scheme is extended for a further period.”
Otis Hanley, Chief Executive Officer, SafetyNet Security Group said,
Our Marshals quickly developed a good rapport with the students as we help them and their friends and ensure they can go out and stay safe. Our Marshals use a wide range of inter-personal skills to ensure that problems do not escalate. Our staff really enjoy the work and we are proud to be Leamington’s Street Marshals.”
Ben Sundell, President of the University of Warwick Students’ Union said,
The feedback we have received from students has only been positive. The Marshals have been a friendly and reassuring presence, who have been on hand to help students get home safely, pass on welfare advice and provide a calmer environment on nights out. The fact that there is always a female Marshal in every pair has also been particularly well received.”