On Thursday 29 June, Derby was awarded the Purple Flag for the fourth year in a row – an award which recognises Derby’s vibrant and safe night time economy. 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 police, as well as the help and support of Cathedral Quarter and St. Peter’s Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).
Last Saturday night, we went out to see first hand just what goes into making Derby a safe and enjoyable place for a night out with friends and family.
10.00pm – Derby City Centre
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 pound 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 Wormsely, Trustee Director and Street Pastor Coordinator 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.”
10.00pm – St Mary’s Wharf police station
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 response to incidents are based on high levels of cooperation between the police, Pubwatch, door staff, taxi marshals, Street Pastors, ambulance service, CCTV operatives and the licensed premises. Working together we have seen a year on year drop of violent alcohol related crime in the city, making it one of the safest places to enjoy the diverse entertainment a night time economy can offer.”
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.
10.30pm – The Council House
Our CCTV team started their night shift operating the suite of cameras in the city centre at 6.00pm. Working in real time, they 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 is run from the CCTV room and 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.”
11.00pm – Friar Gate and Victoria Street
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.
Michael Kay, Head of Environmental Protection, Licensing and Housing Standards at Derby City Council says:
It’s also great to be part of the 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.”
11.30pm – Derby city centre
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.