Two licensed safety officers will be supporting pubs and restaurants every Friday and Saturday night in Luton town centre this winter.

Luton BID has funded the officers following feedback from businesses at recent Luton SAFE Pubwatch meetings.

The two officers are there to assist businesses located in the town centre who trade late at the weekends such as pubs, restaurants, takeaways, and shops, by working in partnership with the town centre CCTV and the local Policing team.

The officers will:

  • Conduct foot patrols around the town centre
  • Engage with the night-time economy businesses
  • Support local outreach teams by identifying vulnerable people at night
  • Help new visitors navigate the town centre
  • Carry town centre radios, so that any businesses can call for their support
  • Offer support to businesses employees working late at night
  • Have access to the DISC App (Data intelligence sharing system) that links to all the businesses within the Town, to identify issues and send out safety messages.

Julia Horsman, Luton BID Manager, said: “We have been working really closely with our hospitality businesses to support them after what has been a really challenging 18 months due to the pandemic.

“Luton BID chairs the Luton Business Against Crime (LBAC) partnership and attends every Luton SAFE Pubwatch meeting to take feedback from businesses, stay updated, and to find out what the BID can do to support them.

“Based on the feedback from these meetings, Luton BID is funding two SIA-licensed safety officers in the town centre this winter every Friday and Saturday night, and we hope that our hospitality businesses will feel the benefit of their presence.”

Doorman Andrew Goodfellow has been a real support to the safety officers. He said: “Having worked around the town for nearly 12 years and on nearly all the doors, it has been really important for me to have the chance to be included with this project, and to use my experience to support the officers to build up the level of trust and recognition within the town centre, so people understand that they are there to support business venues and vulnerable people around the town.”

The initiative follows a joint “Safe night for everyone” campaign launched in October by Luton pubs to reassure customers they are doing everything they can to ensure a safe night out in the town after the recent national spotlight on drink spiking concerns.

Business can use their Luton Safe or Luton Business Against Crime (LBAC) radio to contact officers for assistance and to make them aware of any issues. For more information on how town centre businesses can become a member of LBAC visit www.lutonbid.org/luton-business-against-crime.