CSAS helped the police

Four days when CSAS helped the police & Batman!

Filming for the next star-studded Batman movie on the streets of Liverpool gave private company Paramount Stewarding and Security the highest profile opportunity to use their police powers granted by Merseyside’s Chief Constable under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).

CTM and NHS Nightingale Hospital

Coventry-based Cash and Traffic Management (CTM) deployed its CSAS accredited employees to control traffic at the launch of the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol, which was opened via video link by HRH Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, in April 2020. Providing up to 300 intensive care beds, it was the seventh Nightingale Hospital to be set up around the country for coronavirus patients – providing vital extra capacity for local hospitals should they be needed.

CTM’s Kath Sprosson, Head of CSAS Operations and Development, said: “CTM is proud to be supporting NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol by delivering ongoing parking and access control operations through our CSAS Police Accredited Traffic Officers and the operational management team.

“Our team has supported the NHS and ambulance teams in devising, developing and operating the traffic plan to take into account changing priorities during the build, and the operational phase of the hospital,” Kath explained.

Avon and Somerset Chief Constable, Andy Marsh, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a great deal pressure on policing and the wider public services. I am pleased that the CSAS scheme can be used to enable trained and accredited people to assist in a programme of work as important as the brilliant Nightingale Hospital – a project our communities can be immensely proud of.”

CSAS powers in use at the Nightingale Hospital Bristol include the power to control traffic for purposes, other than escorting a load of exceptional dimensions, and the power to require the name and address of a driver or pedestrian who fails to follow appropriate directions.

Work began at the beginning of April to convert the exhibition and conference centre on UWE Bristol’s Frenchay campus in Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, into a 300-bed hospital. Accommodation that is not currently being used by students is also being made available for hospital staff on Frenchay campus to provide doctors, nurses and other key workers with easy access to the new facility.

Combined Services Provider

CSP and Paramount on reopening recycling centres

Commissioned by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), The Combined Services Provider (CSP), a Watford-based traffic management, stewarding and security company, had just one week from initial enquiry to live operations to design and implement detailed plans for the reopening of six waste and recycling centres in North London. Each plan had to be approved by the respective local authorities and the Metropolitan Police, and traffic signage manufactured.

At the same time CSP were asked by Surrey Police to assist with eight waste sites – four of them requiring staff with police powers. Tony Nikolic, Managing Director, CSP, said: “We have several sites looking to extend our presence onsite and rebook our services in the future.”

Surrey Chief Constable, Gavin Stephens, said: “This scheme has provided extra support to our waste recycling centres and lessened any impact on nearby communities without using up the valuable time of our local officers who are working hard to keep everyone safe.”

Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, Professionalism Headquarters, Metropolitan Police, said: “CSAS Accredited Persons, whether they are members of private companies or public organisations, play a growing role of importance and benefit to the community. This example shows the flexibility of the scheme in challenging times.”

Andrew O’Connor, Head of Strategy and Services for NLWA, said: “CSP provided a great service by assisting in the re-opening of six of our centres in North London. With the help of their CSAS operatives we were able to implement robust plans on the approaches to the sites which prevented excessive queuing and minimised any impact on the road network. We were very grateful for the support CSP Head of Operations gave us in holding our hands through something very new to the Authority.”

Also involved in the reopening of waste and recycling centres were staff from Liverpool-based Paramount Stewarding and Security. They helped manage traffic diversions and vehicle queues at four sites on Merseyside to ensure local residents used only designated, coned lanes to the centres, rather than usual access points, and direct non-site traffic to through routes.

Paramount Stewarding and Security’s Director, Christine Fletcher, said providing staff and assisting ventures that involve the easing of coronavirus restrictions has been a vital role. “In times of uncertainty and worry, the public seek out reassurance and guidance from those in the frontline. Our staff have found that a friendly face, providing strong, clear instructions has been welcomed by the public. Where they have been confused by any ambiguity and mixed messages around the easing of restrictions, we have been able to guide people in the right way, with the right amount of support.”

Christine added: “The public have reached out to us on many occasions in recent weeks to offer thanks to our CSAS teams. Some have been glad of someone to point them in the right direction, some have been glad that we managed the traffic well and defused situations that could have deteriorated, and some have been so nervous about leaving their house, that they were just relieved to see a friendly face.”

 

CSP’s accredited employees’ responsibilities include managing safe vehicle movements in the queues and at key junctions and roundabouts near the sites whilst minimising impact on local residents and through traffic.

Street Rangers

Eboracum and Street Rangers

Private security company Eboracum, which runs a team of Street Rangers on behalf of the York Business Improvement District (BID), was specifically asked by owners and managers of around 200 businesses in the city to carry out night time patrols to help protect their premises whilst they remained empty during the COVID-19 lockdown.

So, the Street Rangers adapted their long-established joint patrols with police by joining Police Officers on bicycles at night to patrol York city centre. Eboracum Managing Director, Carl Nickson, said: “We haven't had many incidents but I think that’s because of the deterrent that we help provide.”

Superintendent Mark Khan, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Working with partner organisations is an important part of policing. Schemes such as this one, which use staff who are officially accredited by North Yorkshire Police, allow us to share information, skills and knowledge to keep North Yorkshire’s residents, businesses and visitors safe.”

Executive Director of the York BID, Andrew Lowson, said: “York’s Street Rangers are doing a really important job in challenging circumstances and we are very grateful for their work and dedication.”

Since the Street Rangers launched in 2016, they have helped to detect and deter thousands of crimes as well as support city businesses, provided support and reassurance to local residents and acted as city ambassadors to the huge number of tourists every year. More than ever before, the Street Rangers are being regarded as the ‘eyes and ears’ in the cobbled and historic streets of this Cathedral city.

The Street Rangers’ joint patrols with police and regular information sharing help ensure any issues are resolved quickly. Carl believes the CSAS accreditation of his employees is vital because it helps professionalise this partnership way of working.

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)

Train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has a 50-strong, in-house team of Rail Enforcement Officers who work alongside Officers from British Transport Police (BTP) every day to help keep the railway network safe for passengers and staff.

Wearing distinctive uniforms to provide a high visibility and reassuring presence, the Rail Enforcement Officers (REOs) deal with a wide range of low-level crimes and anti-social behaviour including vandalism, graffiti, fare evasion and disruption on overcrowded trains.

Because of their close relationship with BTP’s front-line officers they are often deployed to cover specific train stations or routes to deter more serious issues that emerge from time to time, such as aggressive loitering or begging, theft, burglary, knife crime, assaults and county-lines drug activities.

By providing a uniformed presence during their day-to-day duties, they are also well-placed to be a beacon of assistance to passengers who are in need of help, such as the homeless or those struggling with mental health issues and those who choose to use the railway as a means to take their own lives.

They also provide an invaluable source of help and support to staff who work on the railway network.

In addition to their front-line role, GTR’s REOs work with BTP to undertake an extensive programme of education and community activities with schools and youth groups to raise awareness of the dangers presented by the railway, such as playing near level crossings and on the tracks. They also run security awareness days at larger rail stations to advise on the importance of security and reporting suspicious activity.

GTR’s group of companies includes the well-known rail brands Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express and has the largest single share of the rail network.  

Of the 28 train operating companies across Great Britain, GTR is only one of three companies who have employees accredited with specific but limited police powers by the Chief Constable of British Transport Police under the Railway Safety Accreditation Scheme (RSAS), a voluntary scheme, contained in Section 43 of the Police Reform Act 2002.

The role of assessing companies seeking approval to run a RSAS scheme is carried out by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI), a police-owned organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service throughout the UK to deliver a wide range of crime prevention initiatives.

PCPI carries out checks to establish whether companies are ‘fit and proper’ in their standards of management, supervision and accountability to exercise RSAS powers before submitting a report with recommendations to BTP’s Chief Constable, who decides whether to accredit employed people already working in roles that contribute to maintaining and improving community safety with powers under the scheme.

The GTR team of REOs, who are based at Brighton, Purley, Hitchen and London Blackfriars, are all accredited under RSAS by the BTP Chief Constable.

In GTR’s 12-month summary submitted for the National Rail Awards 2019, its REO team was highlighted as having carried out:

- 801 deployments to assist emergency services
- 126 arrests for BTP of individuals wanted for offences including theft, burglary, knives and drugs
- 542 Police National Computer checks for ‘wanted’ or ‘missing’ persons resulting in ‘numerous’ missing persons being returned home safely
- 980 ‘intelligence reports’ for BTP
- 2,248 sanctions for fare evasions
- 141 potential lives saved following the team’s intervention to assist people who had expressed a desire to end their lives.

Over the same period, the REOs joined forces with BTP, and independently, to run specific operations to combat vagrancy, cycle theft and drugs at targeted railway stations and have assisted BTP at regional events. These have included football matches at Brighton and Luton, bonfire celebrations at Lewes, East Sussex, and Alexandra Palace, North London, and the Farr Festival of electronic music, Hertfordshire. Specific achievements have included:

- 14,000 children informed about rail safety
- 100 cycle advice surgeries leading to reductions in cycle crime in those areas
- 14% reduction in cycle crime on the Southern network
- 64% reduction in cycle crime at Redhill Rail station following uniformed patrols and cycle surgeries
- 43.7% reduction in crime at Gatwick Airport station, traditionally a hotspot for theft of passenger property
- 21% reduction in crime at Eastbourne station.

Adam Dear, GTR Rail Enforcement Manager North, explained that having gone through lengthy recruitment and training processes, the REOs spend most of their time in the front-line assisting BTP. “By providing a high visibility, uniformed presence REOs can address certain issues immediately to free-up BTP officers for other priorities whilst increase public reassurance and confidence.

“The team receives specialist training to identify vulnerable persons and by listening to them and understanding their needs, they can help arrange the necessary care and support to keep them safe. Seeing someone on a platform who is clearly vulnerable, or pulling someone back from the edge of the platform who is preparing to jump onto the tracks or in front of a train, is never easy but the work they do to save lives is exceptional.”

Adam’s own team of 22 REOs, who cover Thameslink and Great Northern, helped educate more than 4,600 children about railway safety, even hosting school trips on trains in the area of the Great Northern rail network during 2019.

“The REOs do a great job, sometimes in the most challenging of circumstances, and they make me extremely proud,” he added.

Thameslink and Great Northern Customer Services Director, Jenny Saunders, said: “We are very proud of our RSAS-accredited employees. They all go through a lengthy recruitment process and extensive training, so they are ready and able to work on the front-line every day to keep the railways safe for everyone.

"Passengers gain a lot of confidence and reassurance from seeing staff in uniform who are there to look after them and ensure they have a safe journey and experience on the railway.

"The RSAS-accredited employees also do a lot of work in the community to educate children to be safe around the railway network. They make a huge difference and their work is recognised not only by members of the public but also by officers from British Transport Police.

“Having a recognised police organisation assess us, only provides further endorsement of the quality of the service we are seeking to provide to all our passengers and staff, to keep the railways a safe place for everyone.”

Guy Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer, PCPI, said: “We are really pleased to support policing through this scheme which allows the Chief Constable of BTP to delegate policing powers to properly trained, vetted and accredited staff who can make a significant contribution to safety on the railways. Their involvement allows the release of warranted police officers to do what only they can do.”

PCPI Compliance Manager, Ken Meanwell, who leads on RSAS, said: “The Railway Safety Accreditation Scheme operated by Govia Thameslink is an excellent example of how a train operating company can work with the British Transport Police to reduce crime and increase passenger satisfaction on the railways.”

 

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