Members of the Bath Business Improvement District (BID) Nightwatch community met with the newly appointed Chief Inspector Kevin Thatcher of Avon and Somerset Constabulary to ensure Bath’s city centre has a coordinated approach to managing the busy Christmas party season.
At a meeting organised by the Nightwatch team, licensees and representatives of the city’s night-time economy were given an update on the ongoing preparations as the city pursues a fifth successive year of Purple Flag accreditation, and were invited to discuss concerns and issues they feel need to be addressed in the run-up to Christmas. Issues raised included problems with on the street drinking, and strategies to deal with repeat troublesome individuals.
Speaking about the meeting Chief Inspector KevinThatcher, who is responsible for policing in and around the city said “This is the first time I have worked in a city which has a BID in place, and I have been impressed to see how well the business community and people of Bath work together and volunteer their time. Bath is generally a safe place, and that is all down to the very effective hard effort put in by the local business community working alongside the police. Collaboration in this way helps to ensure any problems do not escalate. So the BID appears to be a very good investment for the city. It was important to be at this my first Nightwatch meeting to get a feel for what improvements can be made and where additional support is needed.”
Attendees were also given a police update that included the river and water safety campaign being organised by the local fire service. Police Sergeant Steve Davey informed attendees that on the street drinking cannot be effectively tackled until signs regarding open vessels have been placed around the city.
Chief Inspector Kevin Thatcher’s sentiments echoed those of Chief Superintendent Caroline Peters MBE who recently said “The Bath BID complements the work of the police, and I have always found it very refreshing how the BID and the Avon and Somerset Constabulary work collaboratively together. The BID is very much a respected partner and there is a joint aim to make the city centre environment a safe and welcoming one. We work closely with the BID and there is a shared respect of each other’s roles and responsibilities. Through the BID the business community is able to play a crucial role in improving the city. It is a partnership that works very well to bring additional confidence to Bath.
“The efforts of the BID help to reduce demands on policing, with the Rangers, Night Marshals and Night Watch acting as the first point of contact for the public and businesses. With their communication skills they are able to avert unnecessary requests to emergency services and are able to reduce demand on these services. Visibility is important and the police are having to do a lot more with less, so having that additional comfort of having the Rangers and Night Marshals reduces calls to our service.”