The Bristol City Centre BID Safeguarding Marshals are supporting businesses by keeping an eye on empty properties and business premises in the city centre as many businesses plan their safe return, and others continue remote working.
Since the city centre has been far quieter at night under the lockdown, the marshals have adapted their usual role to take on regular patrols of business premises through the night, supporting the police who have had additional frontline duties during the lockdown.
So far, they have found an insecure building, alerting both the police, who checked the premises using sniffer dogs, and the business. They have also identified and alerted police to incidents of anti-social behaviour and reported fly tipping of waste ensuring it was quickly cleared away. They walk an average of 22,000 steps, or just over 10 miles each night to keep the city safer.
Wearing bodycams and taking and sharing timed photographs of any potential causes of concern, the Safeguarding Marshals alert the police, the city’s Operations Centre, run by Bristol City Council, or contact the building’s occupier, depending on the circumstances.
Their presence and patrols act as a deterrent for criminal or antisocial behaviour whilst providing BID levy payers with much-needed reassurance that their premises are being regularly checked and any concerns swiftly reported and dealt with. Their time-stamped bodycam footage and photographs can also provide valuable intelligence and evidence for any police investigations.