We are delighted to be part of a multi-agency group which has obtained the prestigious Purple Flag award for Weston-super-Mare's evening and night-time economy.
Towns achieving Purple Flag status are recognised for providing a vibrant mix of night-time entertainment while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in helping Weston-Super-Mare achieve Purple Flag status. I’m delighted that the level of partnership working in reducing night-crime economy related crime has been recognised.
“As funder of North Somerset’s community safety services it’s great to see that the projects are making a real difference and that efforts have been acknowledged with national accreditation. It is clear that effective partnerships play a crucial role in helping to tackle crime and in making communities’ safe and feel safe.”
Following a joint submission led by North Somerset Council, Avon and Somerset Police and the Weston Business Improvement District, Purple Flag assessors visited the town on a Saturday night in November.
Their report rated Weston as "above standard" in all the criteria needed to gain Purple Flag status. The assessors noted the "high visibility policing on the night of inspection with additional agencies present" and a "CCTV suite operational 24/7 with highly trained staff". They said "all agencies were in radio contact by way of radio link" and there was "good joined up partnership working".
The report states: "Weston-super-Mare has much to offer evening/night time visitors with a wide range of entertainment and restaurants open until the early hours."
Neighbourhood Inspector Sharon Bennett said: “This is recognition that police, North Somerset Council, licensees, local agencies and community groups share the goal of making sure Weston stays a safe place for a night out and work in partnership to achieve it.
"This enables us to spot potential issues early and step in to prevent problems whether that’s through targeted police patrols, radio contact between agencies, support for licensees, CCTV monitoring or information sharing. Behind the scenes there has been two years of planning and we’ve already seen reductions in crime. We’re keen to build on this success and develop this approach.”
Cllr Felicity Baker is North Somerset Council's executive member whose portfolio includes community safety. She said: "Purple Flag status is great news for Weston showing it has been judged to offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out. It demonstrates the range and quality of what Weston's night-time economy can offer visitors and also helps to make the town centre an attractive place to live."
The council's Community Safety Manager Howard Pothecary added: "Two years ago the Home Office named Weston as one of only 20 Local Alcohol Action Areas in the country. The Purple Flag award marks the culmination of a great deal of partnership work that has taken place since then to reduce night-time economy related crime and ensure a vibrant town centre.
"Initiatives such as 'Alive After 5ive' in the summer, monthly multi-agency nights of action, anti-social behaviour enforcement, the licensed premises traffic light scheme and the Streetsafe bus Mavis which includes the ambulance service all impressed the assessors."
The Purple Flag national accreditation scheme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM). Weston will officially receive the Purple Flag accreditation at an awards ceremony on 25 February.
For more information about the Purple Flag Award visit North Somerset Council's website or the ATCM website.
Posted on Thursday 21st January 2016