Press Release: City centre security officers awarded low level police powers

Venture Security based in Andover has become one of the first companies in Hampshire to be accredited under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) for city centre security.

CSAS is a voluntary scheme, whereby chief constables can give individuals involved in community safety, low level police powers. The aim of the scheme is to help maintain and improve community safety, by reducing levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.

To achieve CSAS accreditation the team from Venture had to undertake a robust vetting process and assessment, including completing both practical and classroom-based training.

Venture’s security officers currently carry out daily city centre patrols for Salisbury City Council, as well as taking part in Winchester’s newly launched City Centre Ranger scheme, which is being run in conjunction with Winchester Business Improvement District (BID).

The officers have been successful in tackling anti-social behaviour and following the CSAS accreditation, will now have greater powers in Hampshire to deal with any issues they come across.

Paul Howe, Venture Security managing director, commented: “We’re really proud to have achieved CSAS accreditation. It has taken over a year of vetting, screening, assessments and training to get to this stage, but all the team’s hard work has paid off.

“We now plan to build on these foundations, with even more of our security officers becoming accredited. We’re also working with Wiltshire Police on a similar scheme, to further enhance the patrols we carry out in those areas too.”

The new powers given to the CSAS accredited security officers, include:

1.    Power to require giving of name and address
2.    Power to require name and address for anti-social behaviour
3.    Power to require persons aged under 18 to surrender alcohol
4.    Power to seize tobacco from a person aged under 16
5.    Power to deal with begging 

Paul added: “Antisocial behaviour is a common problem within most town and city centre locations. As well as being unpleasant for visitors and residents, it has the potential to adversely impact on footfall, the revenue of local retailers, and the reputation of the area.

“The feedback we have received from residents and local businesses about our city centre security officers has been incredibly positive, and within those areas where our CSAS accreditation applies, we will now we able to do even more.

“The initiatives we are already involved with show how effective this kind of community partnership approach can be. It’s a tried and tested solution and so it’s no surprise that many other local authorities are now investigating their options.”

Venture, based in Andover, provides specialist security services to corporate and residential customers based across Hampshire and central, southern England. For more information please visit www.venturesec.co.uk

Picture caption: Ryan Tench and Josh Kenway