Supporting the evening and night-time economy: FAQs
GO! Southampton work closely with partners and local businesses to help prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the evening and night-time economy. This work is facilitated through our award-winning Southampton Business Crime Partnership (SBCP), which launched in 2020. As well as our BID member businesses, we primarily work with:
- Southampton City Council
- Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary
- SWL Security (who provide our security teams)
- Private security firms (such as Security Nation and Synergy)
- St. Johns Ambulance
- Street Pastors
- Welfare Wardens
We understand that, like everywhere else, the city centre is still facing issues with rough sleeping, crime and anti-social behaviour which effect the people that live and work in the city as well as visitors. All partners are working together to help avoid and prevent these issues.
This FAQs page highlights the projects and services we offer as well as the work being done from partners across the city. If you have any further questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
GO! Southampton attend virtual Op Defender briefings. These weekly meetings with partner agencies and the Police to debrief from the previous weekend in the city, what went well and how to address lessons learnt in the future.
Partners also look ahead to the upcoming weekend and assess the deployment of resources needed based on a traffic light system. If for example there is a football match or large-scale event taking place, this would be classed as a ‘red’ weekend and more police resource would be distributed. Red weekends also mean that St. John’s Ambulance will be in situ in the central parks.
The GO! Southampton SBCP team can influence this traffic light rating system based on our knowledge of what is happening in the city.
GO! Southampton’s crime reduction team (Martin and Carol) work with partners on the Exclusion Scheme to target any individual who regularly steals or attempts to steal, or who might abuse, threaten, intimidate or assault any other person in the city. This also includes anyone who is offensive/inappropriate to any woman or girl or who engages in any form of hate crime whatsoever.
The team works with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary to provide evidence and build cases against these individuals so they can be banned from the city centre.
Depending on the circumstances, warning letters are given or sent to the individual’s home address. More regular offenders will have their photos and details shared with members and police via our DISC intelligence-sharing platform. The more serious offences will result in exclusion from shops, businesses or pubs and clubs for a period of 1 to 5 years. Any subsequent breach may result in an extension of the given term.
GO! Southampton is looking to trial a Facial Recognition scheme that will allow security staff in the ENTE to identify banned individuals and prevent them from entering venues more readily. More details to follow.
We run quarterly meetings with businesses in the ENTE to meet with GO! Southampton, Southampton City Council’s licensing team and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary’s licensing team. These meetings are to discuss issues and trends taking place in the ENTE between businesses and partners. Guest speakers also attend some meetings to provide training on areas such as counterterrorism.
Yes. GO! Southampton has been working with Night Time Economy Solutions over the last few years to create a strategy which sets out a vision for Southampton’s future ENTE, and a sustainable plan for achieving it in the short, medium, and long term.
The review of the city sought the views of a wide range or consumers, businesses, residents and stakeholders to ensure that the data captured the essence of the city at night in as board a scope as possible. Research methods included an electronic survey, stakeholder interviews, strategic partner workshops, focus groups, review of key policy documents and data analysis.
The strategy was split into the following areas, all with key recommendations for partners to action:
- Transportation and Access
- Public Infrastructure
- Safety and Welfare
- Venue Governance
- Training and Education
- Partnership Working
We will be working with an ENTE steering group to move forward with the strategy and recommendations. If you have any questions about this, please contact our Operations Manager Jade McCauley at email@example.com
Yes. As well as our day time security team, we currently pay for two wardens to patrol the BID area on Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm – 5am to help support the police, businesses and local security firms.
They are primarily there for vulnerable Women and Girls in the evening and to deter predatory behaviour. They also patrol the city centre parks and the BID area. If your business needs assistance, please call 07725 737 236 or call them via the SCBP radio scheme.
Yes. Funded via the Safer Street 4 Fund, GO! Southampton is working with Night Time Economy Solutions to provide a number of online training courses for businesses in the evening and night-time economy. Please see below, including links.
- Vulnerability Training, Wednesday 19 July, 2 – 4pm
- Train the Trainer, Thursday 27 July, 2 – 4pm
- Anti-Sexual Harassment, Thursday 31st August, 2 – 4pm (link tbc)
All sessions will be recorded and made available on our Business Training Hub. Levy-paying businesses can sign up to the hub for free here.
In February 2023, Southampton was awarded Purple Flag status. Purple Flag is an international accreditation programme rewarding cities that strive to create a safe, diverse and thriving destination at night for residents, employees and visitors of all demographics. Similar to the Green Flag award for parks and the Blue Flag for beaches Purple Flag focuses on great Evening and Night Time Economies (ENTE) – anything from 5pm-5am.
The programme is recognised in towns and cities across the UK and Ireland and Southampton is now one of over 60 UK destinations to have Purple Flag status. GO! Southampton has been working on this application with partners with thanks to Southampton City Council for funding the application.
- A raised profile and an improved public image
- A wider patronage, increased expenditure
- Lower crime and anti-social behaviour
- A more successful mixed-use economy in the longer term
- Promoting Southampton’s Purple Flag status – ensuring businesses, residents, tourists and students are aware of the Purple Flag and what it means for the city
- Retaining Purple Flag – reassessed every 2 years with an interim ‘light touch’ assessment annually
- Not letting standards slip now we have achieved Purple Flag. Keep aiming higher- move from ‘standard met’ category to ‘above standard’ or ‘excellent/outstanding’ category on assessment criteria
- Delivering the Night-Time Economy Strategy – working with key partners to carry out the recommended actions highlighted in the report.
If you would like to know more about Purple Flag or would like to display a Purple Flag sticker in your window please email Jade at firstname.lastname@example.org
The BID form part of the Community Engagement and Action Group (CEAG) which meet virtually on a regular basis. This group include the police, street pastors, welfare wardens, outreach workers and other local partners and has a specific aim of tackling the issue of rough sleeping and begging in the city centre.
The main objective of this group is to support people in the city centre and to give them the opportunities and services they need to rehabilitate themselves and not have to live on the streets.
When these measures are unsuccessful, and individuals are still causing crime and anti-social behaviour in the city, our team can help build cases that will be used to move them out of the city centre. Generally, this is a last resort as we work closely with partners to find other routes that will help rough sleepers in the city find a better way of life.
Diverted Giving Scheme
We are also relaunching our Diverted Giving scheme, run in partnership with the Southampton Street Support Action Group with a mission to change perceptions around giving money to rough sleepers on the street. Through this scheme we encourage people to ‘change the way they give’ and donate money to the scheme via a Go Fund Me page. The money raised is equally shared between local charities No Limits, Two Saints and Society of St. James.
In general, we don’t encourage people to give loose change directly to those begging on the street. By doing this, more often than not, fuels a habit and incentivises people to stay out on the street rather than find support, respite in accommodation and services that are offered to them. More details of the project to be announced soon, including how your business can get involved.
In the past we have supported knife sweep operations in the city. Police go around the city centre and remove weapons and dangerous items which may have been concealed in specific areas. This aims to reduce crime in the city centre particularly at night in the parks.
We also support other police initiatives and will continue to do so with our day-time and night security team.
Previous funding from the Safer Streets Fund has been utilised over the years to support and put in measures to prevent and deter crime and anti-social behaviour. This has included installing cameras and lighting in the Bargate Ward and the removal of a building to improve lines of sight in Hoglands Park which have reduced ASB by 45%. You can read more about the effects of the measures in place and the report here.
Businesses also have access to CCTV in the city centre parks should they need it.
With funding from the Safer Street 4 Fund, GO! Southampton is working with No Limits on a Youth Outreach project. The year-long trial project aims to identify young people who may be at risk of being involved with crime and anti-social behaviour in the city and engage with them to try and prevent this.
Since the scheme started in April 2023, the 2 full-time Youth Outreach workers have already engaged with 93 young people.
We will be having regular meetings with the No Limits team on the progress of the project and its effectiveness in supporting young people.
- Street Pastors are out in the city centre on Friday and Saturday nights as well as bank holidays
- Johns Ambulance is out on high-risk ‘red’ weekends in the East Park
- As mentioned above we have two night-time security members who work Friday and Saturday nights and have a focus on supporting vulnerable women and girls
- Synergy Security have Safe & Well Monitors that patrol busy areas in the city as well as poorly lit areas and parks. They usually wear black/yellow high vis jackets
- Safe Spaces scheme – see details further down
- Drink spiking test kits are available in most venues for the public to use if they are suspicious that their drink may have been spiked. If you don’t have any in your venue and want to know how to get them, you will be able to get them from St.John’s Ambulance (if they are out), Syngery security or the police on a Friday or Saturday night. You can contact the police via the radio scheme.
- Most venues in the city have trauma packs for serious incidents such as knife attacks. This is through the ‘Stop The Bleed’ campaign, facilitated by Frontline First Aid. The campaign provides training and specialist equipment designed to provide the very best first aid to patients suffering with catastrophic/major bleeds. This has been rolled out in Southampton, funded via the Safer Street Fund. Find out more about Stop The Bleed If you do not have a trauma pack or are interested to know more, please get in touch.
- Businesses and the BID are supporting the Ask Angela campaign. We have printed posters for businesses to display in their venues. If your business would like a poster for your venue, please get in touch with us
The Safe Place scheme in Southampton works with businesses to offer a temporary refuge when a person is feeling unsafe. With the Safe Places network, the city can offer safety for any adult or young person who feels vulnerable while out and about in public. Some people may have a Safe Spaces card with contact details that businesses can use once they reach the safe space. You can see where is a registered Safe Space here. If you would like to become a Safe Space (free) find out how here.
The council have turned off some of the streetlights across Southampton between 1am – 4am to help reduce CO2 emissions amongst other reasons. However, the city centre and city centre parks are exempt from this scheme as well as known anti-social behaviour hotspots. You can read more about street lights on the Southampton City Council website here.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary are undertaking a fundamental restructuring to return to “area-policing” which should see more patrolling officers back on the beat for public reassurance.
You can read Chief Constable Scott Chilton’s vision here.