Salisbury England July 22 2017 Private security guards are patrolling Salisbury city Centre in a bid to tackle street drinking and antisocial behavior.
Two plain-clothes wardens have been operating in and around the Market Place over the past fortnight between 8am and 10pm.
Hired by Salisbury City Council, the pair have been gathering information about antisocial behavior in the city Centre and moving-on those responsible.
Cllr Sven Hocking said: “The project has been very successful and has already seen a very positive decrease in recorded incidents.”
He said the project had identified “street drinking, theft, drug offences and prolific begging” as the main concerns.
“The mission is to get these people the help they need and at the same time do something about the frankly rampant antisocial behavior that’s been going on in the city center,” he said.
“The effects have been dramatic. Every night there were people fighting, shouting, and swearing at each other. We had put a stop to it. It was important to do something. Doing nothing was not an option.”
The council will extend the trial for “at least a month”, putting guards on patrol at “random times on random days,” Cllr Hocking said.
“The police don’t have the resources to put people on the ground when we need them.
“This is not about beating up homeless people, it’s not about beating up street drinkers or people who are having a bit of a tough time.
“It’s about pointing them in the direction of where they can get some help and making that choice their best choice.”
Cllr Hocking said soon the word would go out that Salisbury was “not a place where you can just drink yourself to death in the market place”.
The guards also reported traffic issues including the abuse of delivery times on the Market Place, plus the abuse of loading bays and disabled parking regulations.