High vis patrols to stay in fight against drunks in Camden Town
PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 September 2014
An army of stewards in high-visibility jackets are helping to win the battle against drink-fuelled chaos in Camden Town.
That was the claim of Camden police and Camden Council this week as they lavished praised on a “unique initiative” they believe has brought more calm to the area at weekends.
The project, dubbed Quiet Streets, places more than 100 marshals in fluorescent orange and yellow jackets in Camden Town to help disperse people more quickly and safely on Friday and Saturday nights.
It began as a small trial in August last year but was this summer rolled out across the length of Chalk Farm Road and Camden High Street, from Chalk Farm to Mornington Crescent.
On Tuesday, police announced that the stewards will remain in place indefinitely because of the scheme’s success.
Insp Simon Brooker said: they act as a “natural deterrent to alcohol-fuelled trouble”.
He added: “To have an additional number of professional and aware individuals looking out for everyone’s safety on busy weekend nights, and to encourage revellers to get home quickly and quietly, is a great bonus to assist the work of the officers I deploy during peak times.
“This scheme helps deter street crime and reduces the number of potential victims.”
According to police, Camden Town’s night-time economy is the fourth biggest in the nation and has been valued at £1billion per year, but this leads to large-scale “drunkenness, urinating in public, excessive noise and violence”.
Officers claim Quiet Streets is the first project of its kind in London – and is already achieving results to stem the tide of drunken behaviour.
The marshals are partly funded by nearly 50 clubs, bars and pubs which have signed up.
Venues are now allocated staff to be stationed outside their doors for about 20 or 30 minutes around closing time.
Cllr Jonathan Simpson, Camden Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “This partnership between the council, the police, and venues in Camden allows everyone to enjoy a great night out in the borough while staying safe, and helps to minimise the impact on residents’ quality of life.”
Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive of Camden Town Unlimited, which supports the area’s businesses, said: “To see venues, large and small, in Camden Town, working together more closely than ever before, is a testament to the enthusiasm of the licensed premises – and makes them stand out as a vital part of the broader community.”
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