In September, Councillor David Barton announced that a private security contractor would be hired to control anti-social behaviour at King’s Garden and the town centre.
The hiring of the private security firm, a process that involved the councillor, had created controversy, with several residents protesting the use of a “private army” to manage anti-social behaviour. Other Sefton councillors and representatives of Southport Business Improvement District and Merseyside Police were sceptical about the move, leading to heated discussions during the meeting of the Southport Area Committee. It is believed that the decision to hire a security firm was taken after consulting the local businesses that were affected by these acts.
The councillor now states that the private security contractor, Battle Investigations, has managed to collect a lot of information during its patrol of the affected areas.
Cllr Barton stated that the initiative to hire a private security firm has reaped results as the security provider has managed to collect information in accordance with the 2014 Antisocial Behaviour Legislation. This information pertains to the primary perpetrators who are damaging private and public properties. The councillor went on to add that the information collected was done while the security guards were patrolling the affected areas and through interaction with clients across Southport.
Cllr Barton explained that the staff of the security provider were using covert means to stop the anti-social behaviour, and he believes that this is the best approach to achieve the desired results.
He also stated that recent media reports show that Merseyside Police have also started patrolling around King’s Garden and the Promenade Area. He believes that although the police responded to the public a little late, he is happy that the Promenade Area is receiving attention as the local authorities have put in a funding request to help restore Promenade Railings that offer a view of the Marine Lake.