Success for Street Marshals project
25 June 2009
Harlow Council is hoping to continue a three month pilot project that has been reducing anti-social behaviour in Harlow town centre.
The Street Marshals project started in March 2009 with funding from the Safer Harlow Partnership. The funding paid for the employment of two trained and licensed staff to patrol the town centre at weekend evenings when there is the highest risk of anti-social behaviour. The role of the Marshals is to provide additional assistance to Police patrols and the existing Taxi Marshal scheme. Their presence helps to ensure that small scale incidents do not escalate in higher levels of criminal damage or violent behaviour.
The scheme has proved successful and over 16 nights of patrols the marshals dealt with numerous incidents including:
• Witnesssing and reporting a knife being dumped in an alleyway
• Assisting the Police with a man threatening to commit suicide
• Dealing with intoxicated members of the public
• Providing first aid to 14 people
• Helping to resolve domestic disputes
• Providing a presence to deter public disorder
• Enforcing alcohol bans in “no alcohol” areas
• Removing glass and bottles from the street (over 239 bottles were recovered)
Chairman of the Environment and Community Committee Cllr Tony Hall said:
“The scheme has proved very successful and members of the public have reacted positively. As well as an enforcement role, the marshals have provided a valuable community service by giving first aid, helping people to find taxis and transport and looking after people that have been the worse for wear after an enjoyable night out.
“The funding finishes at the end of June but we will be working hard to try and find other sources that will enable this important service to continue. It is helping to reduce anti-social behaviour in Harlow at times when there is the highest risk.”
Jon Moore, the East of England Ambulance Service's general manager for West Essex, said:
"We've been delighted to work with the Council on this project. The Street Marshals are trained as part of our First Responder scheme, and it's great to know that these locally based individuals are able to carry out first aid for people who are sick or injured while our ambulance is on its way. In some cases they may even help prevent the need for an ambulance response, freeing up our resources to attend more serious incidents."