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Safe in the City - Night Safe

Icom dealer, Adur Communications is supplying a large quantity of Icom radios to a new security radio network for nightclubs, bars, late night food venues in Brighton & Hove City centre and sea front. The system called Night Safe works alongside the existing Shopwatch scheme and is a joint collaboration between Sussex Police, Brighton Business Crime Reduction Partnership Initiative, Brighton Borough Council, Sussex County Council and Brighton Businesses. The scheme, using Icom IC-F4GS two-way radios, has led to an improvement in night-time retail surveillance and has provided peace of mind for pubs, clubs and restaurants throughout Brighton.

Night Safe works slightly differently to the existing Shopwatch scheme, by linking the Police, town centre councils, Brighton's night-based premises and town centre CCTV. The principal city centre taxi companies also have radios to monitor the 'night safe' scheme. This enables them to be aware of potential situations where trouble may occur when collecting fares from nightclubs.

Night Safe's aims is to keep all parties informed of individuals who have a potential to cause trouble, are drunk or are in any way undesirable. Consequently, they can be monitored and prevented from entering premises if necessary.

Currently, 30 clubs, pubs and restaurants have signed up to this new and new scheme members are being signed up daily.

The Night Safe radio network is in line with the Violent Crime Strategy for the city, which targets specific troublemakers and known incident hotspots such as West Street. Every member of the Night Safe scheme receives a radio, which is linked to the CCTV suite at Brighton police station. Members also have access to photographs of known offenders.

Phil Godbold of Adur Communications is convinced of the ability of systems such as Night Safe to help reduce crime. Phil Godbold says ‘Night Safe has been developed from Shopwatch that is successfully operating throughout the south coast. With over 200 users on the Brighton Shopwatch scheme, I felt that it was only a matter of time for this natural progression to a night scheme to come into force.'

When asked about the choice of equipment, Godbold explained why Icom’s IC-F4GS radio was chosen. ‘In this environment, you need something rugged, yet visible enough to work as a deterrent. With many clubs and restaurants now offering extended opening hours, it was also important to locate a radio with at least 12 hours of battery life.’

Jean Smith, Violent Crime Reduction Officer said, ‘60% of crime in Brighton and Hove is committed between 6pm and 3am on a Friday and Saturday night although this peaks between 10pm and 2am. Night Safe will make Brighton an even safer place to visit. The aim is to remove the source before it becomes a problem. Asked what effect it would have on local pubs and clubs Jean added, 'In the past if anyone caused a rumpus in a pub they would then move on to another pub and cause further trouble. Now however, because all the pubs and clubs listen in on the same channel they are immediately aware of any undesirables. This gives the duty manager or security operative the opportunity to turn them away before they enter their premises.'

Lee Simon, MD of C-Side who has 25 venues in Brighton & Hove, said: “Night Safe is an excellent idea that came out of working so closely with the police. We want to improve the safety and security of customers in Brighton on a night out and we believe this is the way forward. If someone is causing problems in one of our members' premises all of the Night Safe network can be alerted to ensure that person is not let in anywhere else.”

Jean Smith, Violent Crime Reduction Officer, said: “The launch of Night Safe is an extremely positive and exciting step forward in our work to combat violent crime and anti-social behaviour in our City. Everyone has worked very hard in implementing this network so quickly and we are sending a very powerful, but simple, message with its launch - Have fun and enjoy yourself or risk being excluded from the City's wonderful night-time atmosphere for the next 12 months."

Night Safe has also seen an offshoot scheme develop along Brighton’s Sea Front Area called ‘Beach Safe.’ Many of the seafront clubs involved in Night Safe operate as cafes and bars in the day. This offshoot radio scheme together with the assistance of an assigned police officer provides constant vigilance against crime throughout the day.

Asked about the performance of the radios, Jean Smith said,’ we are very pleased with them and especially their coverage. Down on the seafront, mobile phone reception is very poor. Radios in this area become indispensable. One club has even given a radio to each staff member for staff to staff communication because of this issue.’

Terry Davies, Manager of the Business Crime Reduction Partnership, said: "This initiative will send a strong message to those who are thinking of continuing their anti social behaviour, it will not be tolerated. He added, ’The Business Crime Reduction Partnership introduced a radio system a few years ago and circulated photos too and that has led to the granting of two Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO) and one interim ASBO with several more in the final stages of proceedings. Perpetrators can be in no doubt that we will take definite action against them."

Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager at Icom (UK) Ltd said ‘The Shopwatch format is a powerful concept that brings whole communities together, co-operating and communicating again. I think that is pretty impressive! In addition, the flexible and adaptable nature of the schemes provides real solutions to the wide variety of problems towns and cities are trying to solve. I feel that Night Safe is another positive answer to the problems of night-time security.'

Icom UK Marketing -


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