If you’ve ever been on a night out in Derby, you may have noticed the teams of volunteers and workers who give up their weekends to help keep you safe. Street Pastors, taxi marshals, Licensing Officers, Derbyshire police, door staff, ambulance crews and CCTV operators all work together in partnership to make Derby a Purple Flag city.

The Purple Flag accreditation is an award given to Derby that recognises the hard work that goes on both on the street and behind closed doors to make your night out safer. Every year, the Council (who lead the initiative) work in partnership with other organisations to show a panel of assessors the steps that have been taken to reduce crime and disorder in the city centre.

Our international Purple Flag accreditation provides the banner to which all the partners rally making Derby as safe, welcoming and diverse city as possible.  The Purple Flag assessors act as our critical friends providing totally independent assessments to the quality and professionalism of the services we work together to provide.

Recently, Derby City Council, along with partners across the city hosted the Purple Flag assessors, in a bid to retain Derby’s Purple Flag status.

We will find out the official results of the audit later in the year, but we are pleased to announce that the evening was a resounding success.

Derby is one of around 65 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland to have been recognised for outstanding services on offer, contributing to a diverse and vibrant night-time economy.

What have we previously done to be awarded the Purple Flag five years in a row?

Amongst the aspects praised by assessors was strong joint working between the Council and partners including the taxi marshal service, Pubwatch, Street Pastors and Derbyshire Constabulary, as well as the help and support of Cathedral Quarter and St. Peter’s Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

Derby’s Street Pastors – a group of dedicated local volunteers head out into the city centre to speak to and care for the people out partying. Every Friday and Saturday night, a group of four pastors walk the city streets until 4.00am, talking and listening to people, providing first aid for minor injuries and handing out free flip-flops to minimise any glass related injuries to feet!

Richard Wormsley, Street Pastor Coordinator, Derby City Mission says:

“As Street Pastors, our role is to look out for, listen to, talk with and care for people who have set out for a good night out but find themselves in a vulnerable or difficult situation. This frees up the police, door staff and taxi marshals to undertake their primary roles.

“We really appreciate the support we get from all the partners involved in trying to ensure that the people of Derby have an enjoyable and safe night out in the city centre.”

Derbyshire Constabulary officers, including a dedicated licensing officer attend a briefing before heading out on patrol. Here officers get the chance to hear about who’s on call to support them -including the Council’s CCTV operators, which bars and restaurants are likely to be busiest and when, and also any new powers they can use to keep everybody safe.

PC 2013 Mark Dunn, a police licensing enforcement officer says:

“Derbyshire police take a proactive approach to policing the night time economy by targeting key areas, focusing on enforcement and achieving compliance with the help of dedicated police resources and the use of powers of dispersal, closure and detention.

“The swift responses to incidents are as a result of high levels of cooperation between the police, Pubwatch, door staff, taxi marshals, Street Pastors, ambulance service, CCTV operatives and the licensed premises.”

On many weekends, the police licensing officer is supported by the Council’s Licensing team who carry out checks on taxi’s operating in the city centre to ensure they’re meeting licensing conditions.

Our CCTV team are able to support Pubwatch premises and the police by providing information and recording evidence when needed.

The CCTV room in the Council House acts as a hub for everyone involved in making the city centre a safe place to visit on a night out. The Pubwatch radio network allows publicans across the city centre to communicate, flag any potential issues and request support if needed.

Jason Dickins, Managing Director of Atlas Enforcement, said:

“It is important that everyone is able to enjoy a night out in Derby and that they feel safe when they are out around the city centre. We manage CCTV in the city centre and document any incidents which may occur during a typical night.

“Along with this we run a taxi marshal service which ensures the public get home safely following a night out and there no disagreements between passengers. Being awarded Purple Flag once again shows that we are committed to making Derby as safe as possible.”

For visitors finishing their evening early, taxi marshals are on hand at taxi ranks on both Victoria Street and Friar Gate. The support they provide in helping to control taxi queues means that anyone who needs to get home can do so safely. The service operates on Friday and Saturday evenings from 11.30pm until 4.30am. Our taxi marshals are easy to spot; you’ll see them at the ranks wearing high vis jackets.

Andy Thomas, Head of Partnerships and Communities at Derby City Council says:

“It’s good to be part of a community that helps to ensure those people who visit and work in the city centre have a safe and enjoyable time.

“The licensing team look after alcohol and taxi licences as well as making sure everyone plays by the rules. As well as all the partners involved, it’s important to recognise the efforts made by licence holders and trade associations, without whom, we wouldn’t have a night time economy at all.”

Police officers patrol around the city centre providing reassurance to revellers and responding to any calls coming in over the Pubwatch radio. The network between partners such as Pubwatch and Derbyshire police allow for quicker responses to incidents and help the police to take action to prevent further incidents happening – such as using special dispersal powers to remove people from the city centre.

On an average Friday or Saturday night in Derby, as many as 40,000 people may visit the city centre to take advantage of the bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs that the city has to offer. The partnership working on display means that every one of those visitors can be sure of a great night out.

Martin Langsdale, Chair of Cathedral Quarter BID Board and Management Group says of the award,

“The BID is delighted that Derby is recognised as being worthy of the Purple Flag award and view this as a testament to the great work undertaken by the BID and the businesses and organisations in the area in association with a number of key partners. Those visiting the Cathedral Quarter can be assured of a warm welcome and an enjoyable experience in a safe environment, whatever the time of day or night. For those wishing to extend their stay, there are three large hotels in the area together with another two nearby in neighbouring St Peters Quarter, ensuring that visitors from further afield can also enjoy the full experience of a night out in the city.”

Helen Wathall, Chair of St Peters Quarter BID, adds,

“A key objective of the St Peters Quarter BID Business Plan is to provide a safe and inviting environment for visitors, workers and residents to enjoy and it works closely with the Police, local authority and other partner agencies to ensure that this is the case. St Peters Quarter BID has played an active role in helping the city retain its Purple Flag status and will continue to do so moving forward, ensuring that visitors to the city have a pleasant and memorable experience.”

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