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Venture Security ‘Rangers’ to help tackle antisocial behaviour in Andover

10 September 2020

VENTURE SECURITY has been awarded a contract by the Andover Business Improvement District (BID) to help tackle antisocial behaviour in the town centre. From this month, the company’s trained and Security Industry Authority-licensed ‘Rangers’ will conduct daily patrols and look out for issues including alcohol consumption, excessive noise and intimidating behaviour.

All the while, the ‘Rangers’ will be liaising closely with the Andover BID’s management team, the local police, the council and other stakeholders to help maintain and improve community safety and will also form an integral part of Operation Mazi (an initiative launched back in 2018 to address antisocial behaviour linked to street-attached individuals).

As well as building relationships with local retailers and taking part in a ShopWatch two-way radio scheme, the ‘Rangers’ will be signposting individuals to appropriate support services when needed and providing a reassuring presence for the town’s visitors and residents alike.

Additionally, Venture Security has been awarded CSAS accreditation in both Hampshire and Wiltshire, meaning that accredited officers have certain low-level police powers, giving them even greater scope to deal with antisocial behaviour.

A similar service is already being provided by Venture Security in Basingstoke, Salisbury, Winchester and Fareham. Within these areas, improvements were seen once the service had been introduced. Last summer, two of Venture Security’s city centre security officers were also recognised with an award for dealing with an armed man in Salisbury.

Making a difference

Paul Howe, managing director at Venture Security, explained to Security Matters: “As an Andover company ourselves, we’re very excited at having the opportunity to make a difference in our town. Antisocial behaviour can be unpleasant for visitors and residents, with the potential to adversely impact on footfall, revenues of local retailers and the reputation of the area. Our officers are fully licensed, trained and experienced in dealing with it and look forward to working closely with the Andover BID team, the police and other stakeholders to help reduce the issue in the town.”

Steve Godwin, Andover BID manager, responded: “We’re committed to making a visit to Andover town centre safe, easy and enjoyable and improving the local trading environment. The ‘Rangers’ are part of our long-term strategy to improve the shopping and business experience in the town centre. Businesses have been very clear that this is an initiative they feel should be a priority for the BID to deliver in Andover and that’s exactly what we’ve worked hard to achieve. We’re delighted to have been able to award this contract to Venture Security.”

Godwin added: “Antisocial behaviour has been a long-standing problem in Andover town centre, as is the case in so many other towns and cities, and can have a very negative impact. That’s why we’re delighted to be introducing daily patrols. In areas such as Salisbury and Winchester, we’ve seen just how effective they can be, especially when used as part of a community partnership approach.”

Councillor Phil North, leader of the Test Valley Borough Council, concluded: “This will be really great for businesses and shoppers and is a fantastic example of the BID and the council working together for the benefit of the town. Andover has huge potential but, like many town centres, it has its problem areas. Antisocial behaviour is an ongoing issue and the police have done their best to tackle it. With the new ‘Rangers’ scheme in place we hope to put a stop to it for good and improve people’s experience when they visit the town centre.”