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Street Patrols: Your street patrol questions, answered.

March 22, 2021

Gallowglass Security has been offering street patrols through its property division for many years. They are an effective deterrent against illegal activity, vandalism and damage to an area. They also act as support to the local police force and homeless charities. Over the course of our streets have seen significantly less footfall. As a result property owners and communities have called upon our services.

Our Head of Property, George Oliver, answers Gallowglass Security’s top 5 frequently asked questions, giving you the who, the what, the when, the why and the how.

WHAT ARE STREET PATROLS?

Street Patrols are made up of a two-man foot patrol team who are dedicated to a small area such as a retail stretch or a Business improvement district (BID). The team patrol the area providing help and support to all visitors to the area.

Our security officers engage with retailers, supporting in incidents such as shop lifting, direct outreach services to those sleeping rough and liaise and maintain a strong working relationship with local dedicated ward officers from the police services. We provide the local force with local intelligence, collecting CCTV and providing reports. This reduces pressure on their services and increases crime prevention.

WHAT DOES A STREET SECURITY TEAM DO?

Their first responsibility is customer service to all visitors to an area. We are often the first people that visitors interact with, and we are also a point of contact for tenants on behalf of landowners. Therefore, we reflect our client and are there to support and relay information to management teams to make strategic decisions.

During lock down these have been a huge support to property and portfolio managers, providing them with valuable real-time intelligence from the ground.

WHY DO YOU NEED STREET PATROLS?

The urban policing structure has changed. Although the numbers of dedicated ward officers have been maintained their areas of responsibility have increased, therefore their impact has reduced. This has been driven by a focus on counter terrorism and not on neighbourhood policing. This has seen a well-documented rise in street crime, especially on individuals and retailers. Many are targeted for their mobile phones. Street patrols act as a genuine deterrent to this type of behaviour and the improvement in areas where we work can be demonstrated by the metropolitan police own data.

HOW DO STREET PATROLS WORK?

Two-man team focus on a designated area, this can often change throughout a day where they take on specific responsibilities depending on what is required. Typically, retailers require support in the day and restaurant areas need support at lunch and in the evening. The team aim to quickly build rapport with shop managers, restaurant staff and front of house teams in hotel and office sectors. The team visit and collect data and general information which is collated in detailed reports and shared with the client which may be a landowner or a group of local businesses. The data is able to provide information on trends and concerns.

WHAT LICENSES DO STREET PATROL SECURITY HAVE?

All Gallowglass Security team members have a front-line SIA licence and receive a number of valuable training courses including ACT action counters terrorism, identifying vulnerable adults, fire marshalling, health and safety, customer service, and emergency communications. As a result, they are well equipped to manage a range of issues that they may face, seamlessly supporting the police, fire and ambulance services.

Gallowglass are also part of the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).

HOW MUCH ARE STREET PATROLS?

In isolation, they can be expensive; however, many clients make excellent use of the street patrol officers through adding on ancillary services. We take on several other roles including VPI’s and property inspections, in some cases 40 a week. The real question is how much do street patrols save you in terms of reputation? The nicest parts of town are areas where people want to work, live, shop and visit. As a result, these areas are often targeted by criminals and rough sleepers, which sadly often leads to drug use in the area. Crime can have a hugely damaging effect on an area’s reputation; therefore, street patrols are hugely valuable part of ‘place making’.

The information and data collected by the teams has an enormous value in strategic decision making. The property sector requires significant amounts of investment and through our on the ground insights we have been able to help our property development partners make significant savings, offering a dramatic return on investment.