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As Gloucester’s night-time economy continues to thrive, the city is set to become even safer with the launch of Night Safe Officers.

Gloucester city centre taxi marshals are being rebranding as ‘Night Safe Officers’ with stepped up duties as just one of the schemes to support night-time safety. The launch coincides with the start of ‘Purple Flag Month’ which is a promotion of the national Purple Flag safety award – an accreditation Gloucester has held since May 2018.

The taxi marshal scheme, funded by Gloucester BID and Gloucester City Council, has been key in preventing potential incidents since it was launched in 2017. The presence of the highly visible marshals helps ensure residents and visitors to Gloucester city centre feel safe on a Friday and Saturday night. It also focuses resources at the main weekend taxi rank outside GL1 Leisure Centre on Eastgate Street.

Now as Night Safe Officers, the marshals will wear visible vests which tie-in with the day-time City Protection Officer uniform. Instead of staying at the taxis rank, they will now patrol Eastgate Street and the city centre and carry out other core functions, from working with the local taxi companies, door staff, street pastors and medics to targeting hotspots and providing advice if they have incidents.

Manager of Gloucester City Safe, Steve Lindsay is delighted to offer extra protection on Gloucester’s streets from 8am to 4am. He said, ‘We decided to bring the taxi marshals in line with Night Safe board by renaming them and changing their role: they will still be taxi marshalling; however, they will also patrol in pairs where there is demand. Along with this protection, we have a fantastic, dedicated police CCTV team working in the control room monitoring 57 cameras in the city centre. These protect people from harm and ensure that people visiting can enjoy the night-time economy in a safe and social manner.’

Manager of Butlers nightclub and chairman of Gloucester L.V.A, Justin Hudson, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to assist our vibrant night-time economy with the rebranding of taxi marshals. It is a tried and tested, and now, requisite service to ensure that Gloucester’s night-time economy continues to flourish.’

City Centre Manager Ismael Rhyman said, ‘Purple Flag is a sign of a safe and welcoming night out, and we are proud that Gloucester has been a Purple Flag holder since 2018. Retaining this award is a priority for community safety and our joint working with partners helps Gloucester remain a vibrant and safe destination for local people and visitors. I would also like to recognise the important contributions of voluntary groups and organisations working hard to enable people to enjoy our city centre.’

The Night Safe Officers scheme is operated by J.A.K.K. Security in partnership with Gloucester BID, Gloucester City Council, Gloucester City Safe with support from the Gloucestershire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Gloucester’s nightlife even safer with the launch of city Night Safe Officers by Shaun Moore | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/