Pioneering private team of ‘BID Guardians’ are helping to make Sutton Town Centre safer this Christmas

Home News & Events News Pioneering private team of ‘BID Guardians’ are helping to make Sutton Town Centre safer this Christmas

A pioneering Christmas project has been organised and funded by local businesses in Sutton Coldfield town centre to make Sutton even safer this festive season.  The private security team has been contracted by the BID and has already made a difference – including dispersing groups of loitering teens, helping to find a missing child and supporting vulnerable and drunk people.

The project has been organised and funded by Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield Business Improvement District (BID) to directly address the lack of visible Police patrols and to support the hospitality industry who all want to ensure that the town centre is a safe place to be after dark.

This marks the second year that the BID Guardians are patrolling the Royal Town’s centre over the festive period, covering every Friday and Saturday evening throughout December from 4pm-1am, acting as a visible security presence for visitors.

The BID Guardians pose in the Giant Christmas Frame in Sutton Coldfield Town Centre. The professional security officers have been funded by Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield BID over the festive period.

Last weekend (Friday, December 1 – Saturday, December 2) the BID Guardians were in action, providing a visual deterrent for crime or disorder, supporting the local community, building relations with businesses and the public and generating a feeling of safety for visitors.

Some of the activities they were involved with included:

  • Organising taxis for a group of elderly women who were waiting for public transport in severe weather.
  • Helping disperse large groups of teenagers who were loitering in public spaces, through friendly conversations.
  • Intervening in a potential domestic violence incident to safeguard a woman.
  • Assisting parents with the search for a 12-year-old child, whose phone battery had died.
  • Assisting local venues and restaurant security staff in deterring anti-social behaviour.
  • Helping police with enquiries and paramedics with locations of injured.  
  • Assisting females order and enter taxis, minimising vulnerability. 
  • Helping intoxicated, vulnerable people in later hours, such as arranging taxis and providing drinking water.
  • Assisting bus drivers with unruly situations i.e. packed bus stops and troublesome passengers.

All of the security officers involved in the BID Guardians scheme have a legally-required SIA (Security Industry Authority) licence, as well as a Door Supervisors License.

Aidan Burton, a Director of Facilities and Security Group Ltd said, “We only deploy very experienced officers into this role with security and customer service qualifications, as well as having completed our own internal training courses.   

“There are a lot of additional qualifications now attached with the SIA License too, so people can be sure the security officers are trained for example if they had to deal with a First Aid incident.”

The BID Guardians are just one of numerous projects and events in Sutton Coldfield this Christmas which are being paid for by the BID, which is funded by over 300 businesses in the town centre.

Michelle Baker, Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield BID Manager said: “Businesses tell us about the increased issues with anti-social behaviour and theft, as is the case across the UK. 

“We have consulted with the local Police and Pubwatch and both are supportive of the private security initiative continuing this Christmas period due to its value to local venues last year. 

“The BID Guardians will be the eyes and ears out on the streets, helping to ensure those enjoying Christmas parties, meals and drinks have a safe experience in Sutton Coldfield town centre and return home safely”.

Follow the Visit Royal Sutton Coldfield BID Facebook page for details of upcoming events.