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Street marshal scheme in Barnstaple extended after proving a success

By e_glanfield  |  Posted: January 25, 2014

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From right to left: Vikki Whitworth, Fever manager, Amanda Palmer, PC Paul Daw and Brian Jarvis.

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Night-time street marshals will continue to patrol the streets of Barnstaple for at least another two months after the scheme was deemed a success.

Street marshals have been helping with late-night incidents in the town centre every Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 3am and 4am since September.

The trial scheme, funded by Safer North Devon and Fever and Boutique nightclub, has seen four qualified door staff carry out high visibility patrols around Queen Street in a bid to deter trouble.

North Devon Council said the marshals have so far dealt with 70 incidents, ranging from minor arguments to helping people who are suffering from the effects of alcohol.

Neighbourhood beat manager PC Paul Daw, who has been leading the project, said it had been successful.

He said: "The scheme has been well received, not only for deflecting more serious incidents on the streets, but also offering reassurances to others who are out at that time of night.

“We therefore hope the marshals' presence will continue to deter any trouble and ensure that everyone has a fun, safe time in the town centre."

Vikki Whitworth, manager of Fever and Boutique nightclub, said people feel safer going out in Barnstaple with the street marshals on hand.

She said: "As a business, we are keen to ensure that our customers enjoy a good night out and stay safer when they leave our venue. This scheme helps achieve this.

“In fact, a recent survey we carried out on behalf of Safer North Devon showed 70 percent of the people we asked felt safe going out at night, as a result of the street marshals. So, we are more than happy to continue supporting the scheme over the next two to three months."

Councillor Yvette Gubb, North Devon Council's executive member for community, said the scheme “reassured” the community.

She said: "Barnstaple is a safe place to go out, with a good, vibrant night-time economy. We want people to know this and feel safe themselves when they come into town. This partnership scheme has helped to achieve this by offering reassurances to the community, whilst also preventing and diffusing potential crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour."

Councillor Faye Webber added: "I am pleased that this scheme is to continue until the end of March, as it has been well received by the community. I hope it helps to get across how the town centre is a safe place at night, encouraging more responsible people to enjoy Barnstaple and its night-life."

As part of the patrols, street marshals deal with any issues or incidents they come across, help manage the taxi and takeaway queues and remove any bottles and dangerous glass from the street.

North Devon Council said the Safer North Devon team was exploring additional avenues of funding to see if the scheme could continue beyond April.

It also confirmed there were plans to look at extending the scheme into parts of Bideford.

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