The GCSS City Centre Team coordinate a number of initiatives designed to make Glasgow City Centre a safer, cleaner and better place for residents, visitors and tourists through working with partners involved in both the day and night time economies as well as statutory and voluntary organisations involved in dealing with social issues.
Alcohol can play a significant role in contributing to young women becoming vulnerable to predators who target them because they are under a significant influence of alcohol. Their decision making following an evening out can be impaired by alcohol and unwittingly they can become targets as they lose contact with friends or lose their personal belongings such as their phone or money and as a result the have no means of exiting the city centre safely.
Over the last 5 years Glasgow Community and Safety Services have introduced various community safety initiatives in the city centre, in order to aid those working and visiting the city to remain safe. Although these initiatives are aimed at the wider participants in the evening economy, their effects are especially pertinent to keeping lone and vulnerable females safe. One of the many bi products of these initiatives is when taxi drivers leave the city centre; they sometimes stay in contact with the system via their TOA controllers who can communicate their reports about vulnerable individuals they see on route to their drop off. These are often young women under the influence of alcohol who have lost their belongings and become separated from friends and have as a result started to walk home. These individuals can be monitored if they are on a CCTV covered area and help can be dispatched.
Glasgow Community and Safety Services (GCSS) has established a City Centre Response Team (CCRT) of eight Community Enforcement Officers, dedicated to respond to concerns of businesses and the wider community in tackling crime and antisocial behaviour within Glasgow City Centre. The service started 1 August and covers the Style Mile and surrounding areas of the city centre, our officers will be patrolling seven days a week, between 9am - 7pm.
The officers will engage businesses who are affected by issues such as drugs, graffiti and aggressive begging as well as provide enforcement support for litter and dog fouling. They have the support of a mobile CCTV patrol vehicle, Public Space CCTV and the Digital Radio Network which links them automatically with nearly 200 businesses already on the system. The officers are operating a quick response model and can be contacted by businesses on a dedicated telephone number 0141 287 7261 which is situated at Public Space CCTV, who take the call and inform the officers, the officers will in turn respond to the complainer. They are also providing an ambassador role for tourists, visitors and residents of Glasgow, helping with information or assistance.
Best Bar None is a national initiative designed to improve licensing standards and developing best practice. This initiative was introduced by GCSS in 2005 to ensure that all premises have standards in place to improve community safety, encourage responsible drinking and reduce anti-social behaviour. It also ensures that the door staff are fully licensed and training in all aspect of customer safety including how to get home safely, and more recently there has been a focus in all Best Bar None premises where there is additional care and attention taken to identify vulnerable young women and engage services such as Street Pastors at weekends or Police patrolling the area in the evenings. The door staff also report any vulnerable females leaving their premises via the night radio network and highlight vulnerable people passing their premises on the street.
Nite Zones are designated and customised taxi ranks provided in addition to the large number of standard ranks operating throughout the city. They have been customise to provide a safe exit from the city centre after a night socialising in the licensed and other premises that make up the area. GCSS currently operate 3 Nite Zones in the city centre and one in Byres Road, in the city's west end. City Centre Zones are situated at Sauchiehall Street, Gordon Street and Albion Street.
These zones are supported with funding and operate through a partnership approach. GCSS provide Taxi Marshals who ensure a safe environment whilst waiting on a taxi. They are responsible to ensure the queue is orderly and moves quickly and to assist each person into the taxi and notify the driver of the destination. The marshals also look out for vulnerable females to ensure that they get taken straight home by a licensed / radio taxi. Only licensed vehicles can present at the rank and TOA provide a marshal who is in constant contact with their central control to ensure taxi's service the rank as a priority.
They are supported by the police as part of the city centre policing plan which provides approximately 150 officers into the city centre at weekends in the evenings. Nite Zones also benefit from additional lighting and are supplied with a free radio from the Night Digital Radio Network operated by GCSS. This ensures additional communication with Public Space CCTV that covers each of the three zones and provides alive link to all the night oworkers on the system including the Public Space CCTV monitoring centre.
GCSS operate 24/7 Public Space CCTV coverage throughout Glasgow, with approximately 60 cameras situated in the City Centre. These cameras concentrate in areas of concern and currently include a special focus on areas near to lanes. These are known hotspots where young women and others may become vulnerable and as a result become prey to predators who view them as an easy target. Officers are constantly on the look out for vulnerable females as part of a special initiatives focus in the evenings and especially at weekends when up to 100,000 people can be socialising in the city centre. Public Space officers monitor the cameras and are in communication with the police and range of other partners. They monitor for individuals appearing suspicious or showing particular attention to young lone females appearing to be at risk
GCSS introduced this pilot initiative in October 2010. It has over 80 users (clubs, pubs and restaurants) communicating on a set digital radio channel on issues of anti-social behaviour, crime and disturbances.
Communication is managed by GCSS control centre at the Westergate building in the city centre and also from the Public Space CCTV monitoring centre. A range of partners operating in the night time economy including Police, Taxi Marshals, First Bus and the Street Pastors are included in the system which means information is shared between them as well as on a one to one basis where necessary. This reduces the risk to persons in the City Centre that may become victim of crime and anti social behaviour and provides for an early intervention approach to those wishing to perpetrate it.
Premises can radio for assistance and obtain immediate CCTV coverage as well as a response from officers in the vicinity. It also enables individuals expelled or refused entry to a premises to be encouraged to leave the area as their identification is shared and where one venue on the network doesn't permit access the others will usually follow suit. Young women are a particular focus for the premises on the network who often call for the assistance of a street pastor or for cctv where they spot a vulnerable person leaving or outside their premises.
This organisation works in partnership with GCSS and the Police assisting those visiting the City Centre on Friday and Saturday nights to ensure that they do get into situations where their safety in compromised and that they have a method of getting home safely.
Street Pastors are volunteers trained extensively to patrol the streets, assisting individuals by providing care or information and carrying help items such as flip flop shoes and foil blankets. They assist people in danger or distress and often tackle low level anti social behaviour where they can calm situations and stop incidents escalating. They support many vulnerable young women who are heavily under the influence of alcohol and sometimes other substances, and ensure their safe exit from the city. They will contact friends and relatives of vulnerable people and arrange to stay with them in a safe site until a responsible person can pick them up or until safe arrangements can be made with taxi drivers via the Nite Zone marshals to ensure they are transported home safely.
They also see to minor accidents and will assist to sober individuals where necessary with tea/ coffee or water. Pastors are trained to spot potential dangerous situations that vulnerable people end up in without realising and to act to keep them safe. They use the Digital Night Radio Network to communicate regularly with all partners including licensed premises.
This network is the same system as the Night Network, only engages shop security and businesses in the city centre. It has over 120 users linking all retail users on the system with CCTV and the Police in order to report issues of concern and to gather intelligence on shop lifting, robberies, begging, drinking and drug taking thus making the city a safer place.
This is an initiative that links over 30 hotels in a network of meetings every quarter and in sharing intelligence and information on an ad hoc basis whenever issues arise. This includes issues such as counterfeit money, individuals acting suspiciously or using the hotel trade for illicit purposes. Through the network the hotels share information in real time and access training and other community safety support services.
GCSS also contribute to the Policing City Centre Plan and Homesafe group. The plan and group bring together the Police, Taxi Marshals, Clubs, First Bus, GCSS and Street Pastors to implement further initiative to ensure public safety in the City.
GCSS, in partnership with Strathclyde Police, UK Borders Agency, Department of Work and Pensions and the Big Issue in Scotland embarked on a new initiative to tackle the issue of street begging and rogue Big Issue vendors at the beginning of 2012. A number of Joint Action Days have been arranged so far in January and March where every person involved in street begging in the City Centre has been interviewed by a Strathclyde Police Officer, accompanied by a GCSS uniformed officer in a mobile CCTV van, an officer from the UK Borders Agency, and officer from the Department of Work and Pensions with a staff member from the Big Issue on standby to tackle rogue vendors, or vendors who were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or otherwise breaking the Big Issue. Every person begging in the City Centre was interviewed (one of the police officers was one of the former CGSS Begging Liaison Officers who is multi lingual) and asked a set of pre agreed questions while an ongoing operation to map begging plots is being carried out by CCTV Monitoring Staff in Blochairn.
The Saltmarket/Clydeside Working Group is a multi agency partnership formed by the current leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Gordon Matheson and coordinated by the GCSS City Centre Team to tackle crime, particularly drug dealing and injecting, in the Saltmarket and surrounding area. The group consists of officers from; Strathclyde Police, Glasgow Community and Safety Services, Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service, GHA (Compass LHO), GHA Neighbour Relations Team, Glasgow Addiction Services, Persistent Offenders Project, Routes Out of Prostitution, GCC Land and Environmental Services, Glasgow Homelessness Partnership, Glasgow Street Services Street Team, Salvation Army (Hope House Homeless Hostel). So far this group has been responsible for a 21% reduction in antisocial behaviour and a 18% reduction crime in the first two years since the partnership was first convened.
|North West Locality|
|Eleanor Lee||Operations Manager||0141 276 7558|
|Greg Lennon||Assistant Operations Manager||0141 276 7521|
|Steve McGeady||Area Service Manager||0141 276 7606|
|Fran Lundie||Area Co-ordinator||0141 276 7551|
|Louise McMonagle||Area Development Officer||0141 276 7552|
|Chris Carberry||Area Development Officer||0141 276 7536|