Two Brighton ranks to have taxi marshals

Posted On 17 Dec 2009 at 7:45 am

Taxi marshals are to help manage queues as part of a scheme to improve safety when people go for out a night out in Brighton town centre.

The marshals will work on Friday and Saturday nights until April and ensure that only licensed Brighton and Hove cabs use taxi ranks.

They will also stop people queue jumping and discourage anti-social behaviour.

Inspector Paul Betts, of Sussex Police, said: “The use of taxi marshals is a real benefit for many people out at night in Brighton and Hove.

“The scheme will ensure people can obtain licensed taxis safely and orderly in the city centre.

“It will be particularly beneficial over the busy Christmas and new year period and will assist us in preventing crime and disorder and keeping people safe.”

The city’s Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership was granted £5,000 from the Alcohol Partnership Support Programme for the scheme.

The four marshals, who will wear fluorescent jackets, will be on duty at the taxi ranks in West Street and East Street from midnight to 4am every Friday and Saturday night.

Nada Saha, director of Unite Security, a local employer and provider of licensed door supervisors, said: “The marshals will stop passengers from using a cab if they are obviously not in a fit state to travel and will ask others to dispose of food and drink before getting on board.

“The marshals are there to help ensure the safety of the passengers, the taxi drivers and other members of the public.

“They are supported by the police and their own mobile response unit.”

Brighton and Hove’s Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) Night Safe manager Nigel Liddell said: “As part of the initiative, the BCRP has supplied for free Night Safe radios to the taxi marshals so they can be in direct contact with police CCTV and officers on patrol in the city centre.

“The radios will also enable them to communicate directly with the Safe Space project in West Street so any particularly vulnerable people in the city centre can then be taken there for assistance.

“Being part of the BCRP Night Safe scheme, the marshals will also have the ability to issue yellow cards to individuals for anti-social behaviour on the taxi ranks and ultimately ban trouble makers from the city centre.

“The marshals will also be given information on people who are excluded from BCRP membership premises and individuals with ASBOs.”

Councillor Dee Simson, a member of Brighton and Hove City Council’s cabinet, said: “This is another good example of how partnership working is helping to keep people safe while they are out enjoying themselves over the Christmas and new year period.

“It fits perfectly with the way we work together to manage the night-time economy, for which we were awarded Beacon status earlier this year, and with our campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol among young people.”

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