Manchester Manchester City Centre Safe

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1 Manchester Manchester City Centre Safe Manchester has had a large and thriving entertainment scene for many years drawing a large people from the surrounding areas at the weekends. Following the bombing of the Arndale shopping centre by the IRA in 1993 a large part of the city centre was reconstructed. The new developments that replaced the shopping centre featured many more bars, clubs and restaurants. This expansion of Manchester City Centre mirrored national trends in the early 1990 s of massive expansion of the leisure industry and a vertical drinking culture that was aimed at years olds and increasingly female friendly. However the down side of the bar and pub led regeneration of the city centre was soon realised as Greater Manchester Police found that this increase in licensed capacity in the city centre was accompanied by an increase in alcohol related assaults and other related crime such as rape, indecent assault, theft and other street crime. To deal with this rise in crime Greater Manchester Police developed Manchester City Centre Safe in 2000, a multi agency partnership aimed at tackling alcohol related crime and disorder.

2 Manchester City Centre Safe Good Practice in the Management of the Evening Economy The City Centre Safe partnership has four main objectives: Work with other agencies to reduce the number of serious assaults and glass related injuries where alcohol is a contributory factor To work in partnership with the licensed trade and others to improve the management of licensed premises To promote the provision of safe drinking To reduce the perception of drunkenness, rowdiness and disorder in Manchester City Centre City Centre Safe solves problems in Manchester s evening economy through partnership working and initiating a range of tactical options to tackle alcohol related crime and disorder. Designated Public Places Order A key success of City Centre Safe was gaining and enforcing a Designated Public Places Order (formerly drinking bye-law) and powers to confiscate alcohol in certain parts of the City. It was felt that this would help to reduce alcohol related violence and glass injuries Manchester City Centre was chosen as a pilot site for the alcohol byelaw in 2001 after working with the Home Office.. However, there were initial teething problems when it was found that Police officers were reluctant to enforce their powers of confiscation if there was no where to dispose of confiscated bottles and glasses. To remedy this problem City centre Safe worked in partnership with Manchester City council to place secure bottle banks in city hotspots such as bus stops and taxi ranks. Manchester City Centre Safe are responsible for the strategic implementation of the alcohol bye-laws which means that the maintenance of the bye-law area can be integrated into the main operational policing system. 2

3 High Profile Targeted Policing City Centre Safe also tackles alcohol related crime and disorder in Manchester by providing a high profile, uniformed police team to support late night transport systems and to patrol violent crime hotspots. Police foot patrols target crime hotspots aiming to tackle the beginnings of disorder and prevent more serious crimes from being committed later on the evening. Safe Public Transport Public transport is also targeted to ensure the safety of people going home after a night out. Bus companies operating in Manchester late at night provide loaders on Friday and Saturday nights at to impose authority and deal with any problems at bus stops, they are in radio contact with the police, CCTV and other night workers. Police also patrol the five late night bus routes in Manchester, these routes are known as safe transport corridors. Bus Operators have also installed CCTV on their buses and train many of their drivers in conflict management. City Centre Safe also encourages people to use these safe transport corridors to reach bus stops and taxi ranks. Various additions have been made to these routes such as improved lighting, help points and safe havens for vulnerable people to improve safety. Think Safe Drink Safe City Centre Safe has developed its own marketing campaign, titled Think Safe Drink Safe, in order to encourage people the change their behaviour on a night out. The campaign focussed upon the simple coping strategies used by people who enjoy as safe night out. 3

4 Multi Agency Licensing Visits City Centre Safe carries out high profile visits to clubs, bars and pubs in Manchester to observe management practices. Uniformed officers visit at a set time and are clearly identifiable. Evidence for offences such as permitting drunkenness and serving underage drinkers is collected and swift action is taken against venues with poor management practices. Manchester Best Bar None As well as enforcing against bad behaviour, City Centre Safe has tried to encourage responsible behaviour. In 2003 the Manchester Best Bar None Awards were launched. The scheme is a multi agency award that recognises good practice in the management of licensed premises and active customer care programmes that promote safe drinking. The award scheme now operates ion four areas of the country and it hoped that it will set a national bench mark of good practice in licensed premises and offers customers the opportunity to chose a premises that operates in a safe and responsible manner. Further initiatives Other City Centre safe initiatives include: Developing a recognised training standard for bar staff Working with partners to implement a programme aimed at influencing the design of pubs and bars to create a less hostile environment Referring persistent offenders who are problem drinkers to seek alcohol counselling. Working with the drinks industry to stamp out irresponsible drinks promotions. A radio network that links police, CCTV, door staff, transport operators, town hall licensing, street cleaners, parking attendants and other working in the city at night so I formation can be quickly shared and problems dealt with efficiently. A network of safe havens, highly visible metal domes that give instant communication to the CCTV control room where people in danger can ask for help. Outcome Since the introduction of City Centre Safe and the alcohol bye-law in Manchester crime and disorder problems in the city have been reduced by 13%. The City Centre Safe model has been championed by the Home Office and is replicated in many other towns and cities in the UK. The way ahead City Centre Safe is developing management techniques that move beyond enforcement. The campaign aims to try and modify young people s behaviour. A social awareness advertising campaign offers young people advice on areas such as health awareness, paced drinking, safe travel and conflict avoidance. 4

5 There are also initiatives to work more closely with operators, initiatives include: Developing a recognised training standard for bar staff A programme aimed at influencing the design of pubs and bars to create a less hostile environment Working with the drinks industry to stamp out irresponsible drinks promotions. Contact Jan Brown, Greater Manchester Police, , 5

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