Town Centre Safety and Security
MaidSafe, the town centre crime reduction partnership, was formed in 1999 following agreement between Town Centre Management (TCM), the Borough Council and the Maidstone Police. (See http://maidsafe.org.uk/)
With more than 150 members and led by TCM, the partnership employs a full time intelligence manager to ensure Maidstone remains one step ahead of the bad guys. Intelligence and photo sharing among members together with robust policing and a very effective exclusion notice scheme, have ensured MaidSafe is recognised as a centre of best practice by the Association of Business Crime Partnerships who recently re-accredited the company with a distinction to the Safer Business Award, their highest accolade.
More than 160 two-way radios are in use in the town centre with participating businesses connected to each other, CCTV and town centre police thus ensuring the exchange of information in “real time”. The extensive CCTV coverage of the town uses experienced operatives who recognise regular thieves and other criminals and instantly alert businesses to their presence. Clearly this results in early preventative interventions and ultimate arrest and sanctions.
Maidstone’s night-economy is the biggest in the county, attracting up to 20,000 people on a typical weekend from all over Kent and the south east who come to enjoy the varied night life on offer. Their safety and security is paramount and Maidstone leads the way with innovative ideas and partnership working.
Street Pastors, Bluetooth messaging, powerful projectors to beam messages onto the walls of buildings, strategic policing, taxi marshals and fully trained door staff complement Urban Blue, TCM’s community bus which is to be found in Jubilee Square every Friday and Saturday night.
Urban Blue is the focal point of the town’s management of the night economy and is staffed entirely by volunteers who offer first aid, emotional and physical support, health advice or just somewhere for exhausted clubbers to wait for their lift home.
Maidstone has recently been awarded coveted Purple Flag status that reflects the great strides Maidstone has taken to ensure the night economy visitors have a safe night out and will be well cared for. One of only a handful of Purple Flag towns in the country, the award mirrors the seaside Blue Flag award and the parks Green Flag initiative.
Whether you are in our town centre during the day or the night you can be assured Maidstone will be looking after you and we do hope you will return to see us again and again.