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Should Harlow town centre have a private security firm like Frinton?

Comments (0) 1

A private security firm would be a “negative” influence on Harlow, according to town experts. A pub manager was one of several to say he did not want to see Harlow follow the lead of Frinton, where hundreds of residents pay a firm to patrol their streets after their nearest police station closed. AGS Security is funded by 300 people paying 2 a week to drive around the town each night between 7pm and 7am as a deterrent to unruly behaviour. They have no powers and residents still phone 999 in an emergency . The patrol is specifically designed to make residents feel safer at night.

READ MORE: When are the May bank holidays and how hot will they be?2
Gary Bellamy, manager of The Greyhound pub, Broadley Road, Harlow, said: “We never get a lot of trouble but if there is any I would rather call the police directly.

“If anyone did cause trouble they would be barred for good . If everybody barred people who cause trouble they would have nowhere to go. “That’s what needs to be done.”

He added: “If we do that have a private firm we take power from the Government into private hands . They are already being lined up to go private. “I am not keen to see it at all.”

Harlow Street Pastors already provide a calming influence in the town centre and around Harlow’s hatches after dark. READ MORE: ‘Changing’ Harlow mall will thrive, predicts Harvey Centre boss3
Owen Jenkins, former coordinator of the group and who still volunteers, said: “I would not favour something similar coming to Harlow.

“My personal view is that when there is an inclination of keeping order they tend to get heavy handed. “We avoid trouble and try and prevent trouble from happening . We are not seen as a threat and we do not get any abuse from people.

“If they security see a fight they will try and break it up or become involved . We will contact the police immediately.” Frinton adopted the system in 2015 . In May last year the BBC reported Frinton residents had raised concerns about patrols door knocking late at night . AGS apologised. Harlow councillor Maggie Hulcoop said: “The PCSOs do a wonderful job, they give a strong presence.

“I would not want a private security firm in Harlow, they would not do the job . There powers are limited . Would young people respect them or ignore them?

“It leaves a lot to be desired .

It would not make me feel very secure .

I think that money should be going to the police.”

References

  1. ^ Comments (0) (www.essexlive.news)
  2. ^ When are the May bank holidays and how hot will they be? (www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk)
  3. ^ ‘Changing’ Harlow mall will thrive, predicts Harvey Centre boss (www.essexlive.news)

Football club upping security after break-in attempt

A FOOTBALL club is to increase security after a break-in attempt over the Easter weekend.

The ‘mindless’ vandals damaged eight windows in an attempt to get into Haslingden St Mary’s FC club house on Saturday night.

Apart from smashing a clock and picking up a few empty water bottles, they left empty-handed.

Club bosses said they were now planning to brick up the windows and install extra CCTV in a bid to deter future attempts.

Anthony Fitzjohn, secretary of the Shore Street club, said: “It was an attempted break-in . Thankfully they did not get in.

“They came round and tried all eight windows but we have got bars across them.

“Every window has been badly damaged.”

The windows are made of perspex so the attempted thieves smashed round the outside and pushed them open – damaging them beyond repair.

“They managed to put their hands in and took a clock and empty water bottles . The clock had been smashed on the floor,” he said.

“It is mindless really.”

He said the attempt had caused a couple of thousand pounds worth of damage and there were now plans to replace the windows with bricks.

“We will have to increase our security after this .

That is all we can do – keep chipping away.

“We will have to remove the windows and brick them up which is another expense . We just can’t risk it anymore.

“We are very fortunate . We had a narrow escape really . It was all set up for a christening on Sunday and that was able to go ahead as normal thankfully.”

Mr Fitzjohn said the club had been broken into in the past, however there have been no recent incidents.

“We used to have roof lights but we did away with those . It was shocking .

They would come in and drop down 15 to 18ft and just trash the place and take alcohol from the bar.

“We have CCTV but it is inside and on the front so we are looking at getting more cameras.”

He added it was business as usual with functions going ahead and the first team, who are currently top of division one in the West Lancs league, playing a match on Easter Monday.

Highland Show appoints new security firm

IT HAS been confirmed that a new contractor will be taking over the 2017’s Royal Highland Show security operation. SHOWSEC has been named as the new organisation a company that claims to be an “award winning event and venue security specialist dedicated to achieving excellence in crowd management”. In business for more than 30 years, SHOWSEC has serviced thousands of events at over 450 venues, managing the safety of over 25 million people at sports, concerts, festivals and public events each year. Following last year’s Highland Show, claims were made on social media that a number of items of properly were stolen from the Young Farmers campsite, and it was alleged that it was the security team, Streamline Security, that had taken them. Some of these allegations included: One young farmer had her phone charging in the cabin next to the security booth . When she returned, her phone and charger had gone . She was told nothing had been handed in and that the lost property box was empty . A guard then rang her phone and she could hear it ringing .

She then saw her phone flash under piles of paper on a desk . Only then, reportedly, was she told that it had been handed in. Laura Cochrane, from central Scotland, dropped her purse on Saturday night at the paint party dance . She checked at the security booth . Five minutes later, a friend got the purse from a guard . It had no cash in it, and when she asked who handed it in, was told it was confidential information . A Lanarkshire young farmer s wallet went missing . It was handed back by a security guard, minus the cash. It was reported on Facebook that while a young farmer was lying in a room within a caravan, a security guard let himself into the caravan and, when challenged, left immediately .

This was reported to the head security guard. At the time, Streamline s managing director, William Hunter, said: I can confirm that a mobile phone was found in the possession of one of Streamline s bar staff . Following an investigation, the staff member was fired and the phone is being returned to the owner . We have passed details of the incident to the police . This is the only incident reported to either ourselves or Police Scotland.” Royal Highland Show manager, David Jackson, also commented in the 2016 show aftermath: These are concerning allegations and we will work with Police Scotland and Streamline Leisure to investigate and take appropriate action. This week, The Scottish Farmer asked the Royal Highland Show’s public relations spokesman if last year’s row was the reason for the change of security provider, but had received no reply at time of going to press.