Several are already operating and a total of eight will become accredited within weeks patrolling business areas across Eastbourne, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and Haywards Heath. They will be working with local business to provide extra support and have powers including the power to require a name and address of an individual and to remove alcohol.
The Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) allows organisations and their employees working in community safety to be given targeted police powers by the Chief Constable. These powers can help them become more effective in their role and contribute to community safety and security, as well as combat crime and disorder, public nuisance and anti-social behaviour.
Sussex PCC Katy Bourne said:
“This is helping to support business by helping to tackle the worst anti-social behaviour and helping to cultivate a vibrant economy. These business wardens have limited police powers and are part-funded by Southern Co-op.
“We are trying to enable businesses to help themselves to take a more community-oriented approach that also benefits neighbouring smaller business. Anti-social behaviour such as aggressive begging can blight shopping areas in cities so this is about increased visibility and reassurance for our older and more vulnerable residents and improving local economies.
Gareth Lewis, Loss Prevention & Security Services Manager for The Southern Co-operative said:
‘We believe that the most effective way of tackling and improving community safety issues is for all within the community, including businesses, to work together. Community safety is not the sole responsibility of the police, it is a collective responsibility and as a neighbourhood retailer, The Southern Co-operative is proud to be working collaboratively with Sussex police on this project. I would call on other businesses to join us in this partnership and help make your community safer.’