The Leamington Street Marshals scheme was launched in 2013. Its unique features help to protect students whilst enjoying a night out, and to promote positive community relations by encouraging students to behave responsibly whilst walking through residential areas.
The scheme is a partnership between the University of Warwick, our Students' Union, Warwick District Council, Warwickshire Police and SafetyNet Security Group and is funded by the University.
SafetyNet recruit and directly employ the marshals, who are licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), and fully trained. The marshals have a unique set of powers, given to them by Warwickshire Police, to enable them to carry out their duties, under the Home Office’s Community Safety Accreditation Schemes (CSAS).
(Street Marshals pictured with some of the 2016/17 Students' Union Sabatical Officers at the 2016 'Your Town Your Choice' student welcome event to engage with students about safely enjoying a night out in Leamington Spa.)
The main features of the Street Marshals
Monday to Thursday inclusive from 11pm to 4am, up to 8 marshals (depending on anticipated need) operate in areas of Leamington frequented by Warwick University students, to provide pastoral care and protection after they leave the pubs and clubs, and to encourage them to respect the interests of other residents as they return home. The marshals patrol in pairs (one male, one female).
The powers given to the marshals apply to the police force area, rather than to certain types of individuals, and in practice they respond to whatever situations they see in front of them, regardless of who they encounter. However, the marshals operate in areas and routes identified as popular with Warwick students.
The marshals are trained to intervene early in any situation they face and their pastoral activities include making sure that vulnerable students get home safely and arranging medical treatment for people who are injured.
The marshals begin each shift at WDC’s CCTV Operations Suite, but once they move on to the streets they have radios that allow immediate access to the WDC CCTV Control Room, other radio users including door-staff and the Police.
The marshals wear clothing approved by the Chief Constable, which is different to Police and PCSO uniforms and includes the accreditation badge, and the logos of WDC and SafetyNet. The marshals carry one radio and one badge-cam per pair.
This scheme is an extension of the existing Street Marshals scheme operated in Leamington by the South Warwickshire Community Safety Partnership (SWCSP) initially introduced to keep order at taxi ranks but now covering the town centre.
The scheme is not designed to enable the University to take action against students, nor is it about responding to any incidents that occur within student housing.
Feedback from local residents, our students, Warwickshire Police and other partners has been very positive. We've also had enquiries from other universities and local authorities who have been interested in the unique features and success of the scheme.
When entering this scheme we imagined there might have been the odd bit of negative feedback. This has never materialised, however, with all the comments we receive about the marshals being positive. The Street Marshals ensure that, in the minority of cases when students exceed the safe limits of alcohol consumption, they are safe and secure in their hometown. This is invaluable to the welfare of students at Warwick. Furthermore, the Street Marshals positively impact on neighbourhood relations. Sometimes when returning home, students can be louder than they intend to be. In these instances the Marshals are able to remind the students of their responsibilities to the community and ask them to be quieter. This helps alleviate the tensions that can arise when a large student population lives among local residents." Rob Ankcorn, 2014-15 Democracy & Development Officer, Warwick Students' Union
The year on year continuous improvement plan is clearly evident both statistically and from the Street Marshals’ absolute enthusiasm toward providing a safe and protected environment for the students generally.
Furthering this continuous improvement path is our sole purpose looking forward and we genuinely believe that with all our partners working in tandem and sharing our collective experiences past and present the future safeguard and welfare of the students will be enhanced to new levels."
Martyn Green, Business Development Manager, SafetyNet Security Group
Thank you so so so so much for your assistance on Thursday night, I hate to think where I would of found myself Friday morning if it wasn’t for you guys!!!!! You are amazing. Thanks again for keeping us safe” “Emma” (Warwick student)