Published on Thursday 28 September 2023
A campaign to reassure residents and visitors of their safety is being stepped up with a ‘Night of Action’ this Friday (29 September).
The Town Team campaign is run by Dorset Police, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council and its partners in Bournemouth town centre.
The campaign aims to reassure communities that a year-round multi-agency team including BCP Council and Dorset Police is working to prevent anti-social behavior (ASB) and crime.
The Night of Action this Friday will give the public, as well as new and returning university students, an opportunity to ask questions or voice any safety concerns to the Town Team.
Dorset Police, BCP Council’s CSAS (Community Safety Accreditation Scheme Officers) and Youth Outreach Teams will be based in busy areas across town throughout the evening, including the Lower Gardens, Old Christchurch Road and Horseshoe Common.
The Town Team will promote the initiatives of business and education partners, such as SUBU’s (Student Union Bournemouth University) #NeverOK campaign, which aims to help protect students from sexual misconduct, assault and violence.
Bournemouth Town Pastors, an independent group who are based in the town centre from 10pm on Saturday nights to 2am on Sunday mornings and offer people judgement free assistance and advice, will also be present.
Dorset Police will also be running ongoing operations ‘Fireglow’ and ‘Nightjar,’ which are jointly focused on tackling violence, ASB, drugs and knife-related crime in the area, and will continue to be enforced beyond the event.
Chike Dike, President of the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University, said:
"Students’ safety is one of our biggest priorities at SUBU and there are many measures in place to ensure that their nights out are as safe as possible.
"As a Students’ Union, we are fully committed to supporting our students as much as we can."
Since the Town Team launch on August 17 this year, Dorset Police and BCP Council’s CSAS and ASB teams increased joint patrols throughout the town centre area and have engaged with more than 260 members of the public, shops and businesses to encourage reporting of criminality.
Superintendent Gavin House, of Dorset Police, said:
"Working alongside BCP Council and other partners is absolutely vital to ensure we can provide the best possible service to residents and visitors – reducing crime and anti-social behaviour."
"Our Operation Fireglow sees officers actively patrolling the Town Centre, Bournemouth Gardens and around Pier approach. From 9pm we deploy at least 20 officers along Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth Square and other hotspots as part of Operation Nightjar, to tackle issues quickly before they escalate and ensure the area is welcoming and safe with a high visibility presence."
Councillor Kieron Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regulatory Services at BCP Council, added:
"With both new and returning students coming into Bournemouth during September and October, this project comes at a key time and aims to further reassure residents and visitors that Bournemouth Town Centre remains a safe location to live, work and study.
"Ensuring our residents’ wellbeing is of utmost priority to the council, and I would like to thank all of our own teams, Dorset Police and our other multi-agency partners for their ongoing commitment to ensuring the safety of everybody in the Town Centre and across the conurbation."
BCP Council is primarily responsible for dealing with aggressive begging, street drinking and supporting those who are experiencing homelessness. Dorset Police are focused on tackling criminality in the town, such as drug misuse and dealing, prolific shoplifting and acts of violence.
Regular updates will be shared on both Dorset Police and BCP Council’s Facebook and Instagram social media channels throughout the event.
Homelessness charity St Mungo’s, Bournemouth Town Centre BID and BCP Council’s Parks and Cleansing Teams are also all members of Towns Team.
Bournemouth University’s Lansdowne-based nighttime and live music venue, The Old Fire Station, is an accredited ‘Good Night Out Venue’ and staff are trained and accredited to deal with sensitive situations. Security and first-aid teams are also on site for all events.
Any students who become stuck without any money on a night out and need to get home, they can take a ‘Safe Taxi’ as a part of SUBU’s ‘#NeverOK’ scheme. This has been set up in partnership with United Taxis, allowing students to get a taxi home and settle the bill through SUBU at a later date.
Read more about Town Team: Campaign on town centre launches (bcpcouncil.gov.uk)
Visit BCP Council’s website to access more information about council services and support: Home (bcpcouncil.gov.uk)
Contact our ASB Team to report instances of ASB and criminality: Antisocial behaviour (bcpcouncil.gov.uk)