Preventative patrols keeping York’s night time economy safe
Main article content
Officers were patrolling in York’s night time economy over the weekend, making sure residents and visitors could safely enjoy the early May Bank Holiday.
York has a busy and vibrant night time economy which not only provides entertainment for local residents, but also for thousands of visitors who flock to the city each year. While York regularly features as one of the safest cities in the country, local officers are keen to ensure that the city stays that way and that everyone is safe to enjoy their night out.
One of the ways the force is keeping York safe is by adopting Project Vigilant a national policing project which was launched by Thames Valley Police in 2019.
Specially trained officers are deployed into the night time economy to identify, challenge, and disrupt those who exhibit signs of predatory sexual behaviours. Each deployment is intelligence led, so that officers are in the right areas, at the right times, ensuring people remain safe by preventing harm through targeting potential perpetrators and stopping them from offending.
Project Vigilant officers will also seek to ensure that vulnerable people in the night time economy are kept safe, reuniting them with friends if they become separated or referring them to Street Angels or Yorkshire Ambulance Service if there is a medical concern.
Speaking about Project Vigilant, York Commander, Superintendent Fran Naughton said:
“York is a fantastic city to enjoy a night out and with its reputation as being one of the safest, as well as one of the most historic and picturesque – it’s understandable that people travel from all across the UK and the world to visit.
“Sadly though, popular and busy places not only attract visitors – they also attract those who want to take advantage of those who are enjoying themselves.
“Project Vigilant is a great tactic that we can employ to detect and disrupt anyone displaying predatory behaviours and prevent harm from happening. Plain clothes and uniformed officers work together with our other partner agencies and licensed premises to spot the early signs of harmful behaviour, share vital intelligence and be a reassuring presence in the city centre.
“As always, members of the public are encouraged to report any concerns they have either to the police on 101 or to staff at a venue so that these can be investigated. If you are in immediate danger always dial 999.
“Online reporting tools such as StreetSafe are also a great way to report any places where you don’t feel safe. All the information reported is fed into Project Vigilant and helps us plan our next deployments.”
If you have been the victim of a sexual crime, but don’t want to speak to the police, you can see help and support from your local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s SARC can be contacted on 0330 223 0362 or visit www.bridgehousesarc.org