Statement on continuing media speculation in Southport

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Statement on continuing media speculation in Southport.

As a result of comments in OTSNew.co.uk, attributed to Mr Norman Wallis of PleasureLand, we have today taken the unusual step of issuing this press release to allay the fears of the community in Southport that Battle Investigations and our Tactical Security unit are failing to support the businesses that have joined our Patrol scheme.

We have been operating in Southport for 5 years before launching this new cost effective scheme in February 2016, at the request of Southport Business Watch. Upwards of 45 businesses across Southport have signed up, with some opting for the baseline service and many others opting for a much greater level of service.

Patrols enter Southport each evening and are in Southport continuously at weekends and public holidays. They operate in both marked and unmarked vehicles with Town centre patrols carried out on foot.

Contrary to repeated sensational media headlines, our officers are not uniformed to appear like Police officers or members of the Armed Forces. All our officers have the highest level of training from industry leaders and are qualified and licensed. All have previous Military or Police service.

Our primary role is the protection of the property and assets of our contracted clients and secondary to that are the intelligence gathering, assistance and security of Civic and Community assets as requested by Councillor David Barton in July 2016. We make NO extra charge for this as we too can see Cllr Barton’s vision to preserve Southport’s heritage and believe that in these times of austerity everyone should pull together.

Also read:

Anti-social behaviour patrols launched to protect Southport businesses

During our service suspicious persons have been removed from clients’ private property. Whilst doing so details/descriptions are taken for later use if damage is subsequently discovered. The business then receives details of activity at their location.

We have dealt with 14 incidents that fall under the term ASB and of those, two are being progressed, with our assistance, through Civil Courts for the recoveries of monies incurred to repair the damage caused. This is our preferred option of resolution as it provides our client with an end result. Incidents witnessed and recorded against Community assets are reported to Merseyside Police through our normal channels.

We are very aware of the widely reported incidents in Kings Gardens and PleasureLand property.

Our officers routinely disperse two known gangs of youths that frequent four main locations one of which is Kings Gardens. These youths are all known to our officers. Youths can only be dispersed if they are committing a nuisance.

It should be noted that for a number of weeks security has been stationed in Kings Gardens from 1800hrs that has NO connection to us and is funded by a Council related operation.

Youths are drawn to that area and to the land surrounding PleasureLand where they ‘sit off’ eating fast food. PleasureLand property is a particular draw for ‘bored’ youths as it provides easy access as some fencing is of poor repair and in some areas hedgerows have been taken out giving direct access to property. The youths have previously been drawn to the area because of burning materials on site and rubble readily accessible from skips which our officers have taken from youths.

PleasureLand employ their own site security each night and they patrol regularly.

For clarity PleasureLand was offered our baseline patrol service, which is £50 per month, along with the other businesses on 29 February this year. No reply was received from them. This however would not detract from our officers dealing with an incident if it arose, although PleasureLand is not an area we patrol nightly.

For further clarity our officers would always deal with any incident they are aware of, whether the location was part of our scheme or not. If we had to deal with an incident at the same location more than twice, you can expect us to have a conversation with the location owner about continuance as it would be deemed unfair to have a non-contract location freeloading off contracted clients.

ASB is notoriously difficult to combat and can take months for results to be seen. Officers have to be around all the time – the vandals have only to strike once. We use a mixture of intelligence and covert activity, often tracking repeat offenders on their journey through a town and to this end have caught youths kicking shop windows as they pass. We also use a disruption method by engaging with the youths so they know we know them.  Vandalism is committed in a second and is easy to miss. It should be noted that some perpetrators of ASB are often abusive and violent and we advise the public NOT to tackle any issues they witness but to call the Police on 101 or 999.

Battle Investigations and our Tactical Security unit are providing over and above the service our clients signed up for. We have been providing intelligence and security in the UK and overseas for in excess of 15 years and we enjoy a 100% satisfaction rate from our present client base.

No further releases will be issued.

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