Sheffield’s power partnership keeps nights out in the city centre safe

It is estimated that Sheffield’s night-time economy is worth more than £600 million, with around 1,600 businesses involved.Out of these, 101 serve customers after midnight.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 04 April, 2019, 13:19

The Star hosted a round table to get those responsible for safety in the night time economy together.

However, it quickly emerged that this group knew each other very well already.

The Star round table event on the Night Time Economy. Picture: Chris Etchells

The team of police, door staff, safeguarding, university staff, street pastors and premises management have worked together for years to keep people of all ages safe when visiting the city after 5pm.

The policing plan Street Safe is one of many programs in place to watch over and protect Sheffield.

South Yorkshire Police BID sergeant Matt Burdett said: “Street Safe provides us with a guide of where our policing resources are needed. We review the previous week and look at events being held the upcoming weekend too.

The Star round table event on the Night Time Economy. Pictured is Matthew Burdett. Picture: Chris Etchells

“At this point we link in with all the clubs and bars and speak to the street pastors and door staff.

“Those discussions determine where we’re going to put our resources at that particular time. It’s reviewed weekly and we all communicate constantly, so the plan is adapted all the way through to Friday and Saturday night.”

Sheffield BID has recently purchased WiFi cameras which are hooked up to the free city centre internet connection. The team has struggled with 4G and fibre connected cameras in the past and was ready for an upgrade.

The Star round table event on the Night Time Economy. Pictured is Tracey Ford. Picture: Chris Etchells

The team uses these to tackle incidents as efficiently as possible.

Managing director of Pro-Active Security Richard Dyson said: “Doormen have a crack radio which is linked to the CCTV room where an inspector is present.

“We can radio through to the room that will then put cameras on the venue, track vehicles and speak to the police and pastors to get someone to the scene.

“If an incident happens it can be dealt with almost instantly.”

The Star round table event on the Night Time Economy. Pictured is Julie Hgue. Picture: Chris Etchells

Door staff across Sheffield’s venues are all trained and licensed, and are described as the ‘eyes and ears of the team’ by SCC licensing manager Julie Hague.

She said: “We give our door staff key training. They see what’s happening out there and they are in a prime position to recognise vulnerable people.

“We train everyone - people working in hotels, taxi trades, bars and clubs and the security industry.

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“We do face to face work with them. We rely on our door staff so our role is to support them with their training.”

Each month a ‘Unight Sheffield’ meeting is held, chaired by Frog and Parrot owner Nick Simmonite.

The Star round table event on the Night Time Economy. Pictured is Richard Dyson. Picture: Chris Etchells

The group has been meeting for 12 years to discuss what can be done to better the night time economy and maintain safety levels.

Best Bar None's Tracey Ford commended the meetings.

She said: “Unight is a great opportunity for people to talk about emerging issues. It’s vital to keeping the city centre safe.”

A knife crime meeting was recently held to address the growing problem, helping door staff to recognise and deal with weapons and incidents involving them.

Chief executive of national licensee The Portman Group, John Timothy was recently taken on a tour of the city centre on a Friday evening.

He spoke to door staff, bar staff and those visiting for a night out until the early hours of Saturday morning.

Upon return he said: “I commend Sheffield for having led the way in embracing a partnership model which has created an effective, safe and attractive offer for the City’s nightlife and leading music scene.

“I was hugely impressed with the array of organisations working seamlessly to create a positive and inclusive night time experience.

“It’s clear Sheffield is reaping the benefits of this approach – I congratulate Matt and everyone else involved and would encourage other towns and cities to adopt this approach.”

Over the next six weeks The Star will be following the work of teams within the night time economy.

To get involved or have your say, email ann.holmes@jpimedia.co.uk.

West Street, Sheffield.
West Street, Sheffield.