SOLIHULL town centre streets have two new faces to provide a reassuring presence for shoppers.
The enforcement officers will patrol the streets during shop opening hours in a bid to deter and disrupt criminal and anti-social behaviour.
Jason and Liz are accredited by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and their duties involve supporting retailers to reduce thefts, responding to low level anti-social behaviour and signposting rough sleepers to support agencies.
The enforcement officers will work alongside the BID’s team of town hosts, who have become a familiar service to help visitors and businesses.
They are being funded by Solihull BID, the Business Improvement District scheme for hundreds of town centre businesses.
The BID says it works alongside organisations such as Solihull Council, West Midlands Police, Touchwood and Mell Square owners IM Properties to prioritise safety and ‘help the town centre retain its status as one of the safest and most welcoming areas in the UK’.
Tackling crime, anti-social behaviour and street begging is a crucial part of the BID’s activity for its third term, it adds.
The third term will begin in August next year if the BID’s continuation is supported in a ballot of BID member businesses in October this year.
The BID has also recently announced a partnership with West Midlands Combined Authority’s Change Into Action ‘alternative giving’ scheme which encourages people to donate to charities and organisations offering expert support to the homeless.
Solihull BID chief executive Melanie Palmer said: “From August this year you will see leaflets in all of our businesses educating the public on what is already being done to help the increasing levels of rough sleepers and beggars and how to join the campaign to help change lifestyles and enable a safe journey back into the workplace and society.
“We have two new operatives who will be in place for four days per week working with our town hosts and the council to direct beggars and rough sleepers to a safe space to get the help they may need.”