Gloucester will be using a private security contractor to keep the city streets safe during the Christmas period. This is a busy time for retailers and also shoplifters. It is anticipated that having uniformed guards will deter thieves.
It was announced that two city ambassadors will be working with retailers at Gate Street to reduce incidents of theft and shoplifting. The ambassadors will also be helping shoppers and visitors who need assistance. Furthermore, the ambassadors will have an SIA licence, wear high-visibility jackets to ensure that potential shoplifters and thieves can see them and refrain from stealing and robbing, and have training in first aid to offer help to citizens and tourists.
The patrolling is being carried out under the Gloucester City Safe scheme with the aim to minimise shoplifting during the festive season. While the ambassadors will be patrolling until Christmas Eve, many hope that they become a permanent fixture along the high street.
Scheme Manager Rich Burge stated that the retailers are extremely happy and supportive of having the ambassadors. The scheme was successfully tried in Brighton, and it now hopes to achieve the same level of success in Gloucester.
Burge added that the thought of using ambassadors has been floating around for some time, and retailers know that they suffer stock loss during the festive season. However, they are so busy that it becomes hard for them to control thefts. Retailers believe that having guards who can be identified will reduce inventory loss and prove to be extremely beneficial for them and the city.
The city ambassadors will be supplied by Elite Security, a Gloucester-based security contractor. This means that the security guards are knowledgeable of the street layout. The guards will also be keeping a lookout for beggars and rough sleepers. If they spot them, the guards will ensure that they receive the necessary support as quickly as possible.