Night marshall scheme could come to an end

Night Marshals and Street Angels out on patrol in York Place.
Night Marshals and Street Angels out on patrol in York Place.

A scheme which has helped slash violent crime in Scarborough town centre over the past five years is under threat.

The night marshalls are a team of trained and registered security officers who have often been praised by police and door staff for their assistance with drink-related incidents.

However, the initiative, which was launched in December 2008, is now under review after the contract for the marshalls ended last month.

Sandra Rees, Scarborough Council’s community health and safeguarding officer, said: “We are reviewing the strategy for the night time economy throughout the borough, not just in Scarborough, including looking at what works and what doesn’t.

“An important part of this review will be to work with Pubwatch and other businesses and professionals working in the night time economy to develop a plan that will focus on what improvements can be made and how we can seamlessly link the day economy to the night time economy.

“The contract for the night marshalls came to a natural end at the end of March this year, so it makes sense to review this as part of the new action plan, but it is important to note that no decisions have yet been taken regarding the future use of night marshalls in the borough. We should be in a position to report further on the development of the action plan in May.”

The scheme currently runs in Scarborough and Whitby town centres on Friday and Saturday nights.

Dressed in high-visibility jackets, teams of marshalls take to the streets to help the police deal with low level disorder and anti-social behaviour - much of it alcohol-related.

The marshalls have been credited by police officers in the town for helping to reduce levels of violent street crime along with other initiatives, such as the volunteer-based Street Angels.

Initially funded by the Home Office on a trial basis, it has since received grants from North Yorkshire County Council to keep it going through the Safer Communities Partnership Plan.