New business support warden to help improve safety in town

Brett McLean pictured with the business support warden and a support and training warden who will occasionally work in the town
Brett McLean pictured with the business support warden and a support and training warden who will occasionally work in the town

Love Hastings Ltd has announced the introduction of a new business support warden, as part of the Hastings Business Improvement District (BID).

After an impressive 72 per cent vote from local businesses in favour of the BID in November, the newly-formed Love Hastings Ltd team has started to work across the BID area to improve safety, appearance, events and marketing in the town centre. The projects will be funded by businesses contributing a compulsory annual levy across five years.

One of the improvements proposed was to secure the services of a business support warden. By law, a BID cannot fund services already in existence from local taxation. However to help meet the requests from levy-paying businesses, the warden was introduced after working closely and in consultation with local authority partners.

The Love Hastings Ltd Board of Directors commissioned a reputable security company who has experience in Sussex towns, delivering community and crime reduction projects.

The warden will continue to work closely alongside store security, Sussex Police, Police Community Liaison Officers, Hastings Borough Council, Shopwatch, Barwatch and with other front-line organisations such as the Drug and Alcohol team.

A Love Hastings Ltd spokesman said the warden acts as a reassuring presence for residents, visitors and businesses, and will, in the future and with extensive and continuous training and vetting, be able to use a limited number of powers authorised by the Chief Constable of Sussex Police, known as CSAS Powers.

The spokesman added: “To date, the reception from these partners has been wholly supportive, positive and appreciative for the help in proactively preventing crimes and helping to reduce theft. The warden isn’t working to incentivised targets, cannot issue fines and the BID is not making a political statement about police funding.

“The warden’s performance is effectively monitored by the Love Hastings Limited Board of Directors, which will be democratically elected by BID levy players from 2018.

“The warden will also be monitored by the security provider, which has its own strict employment and training standards.

“The Chief Constable will officially approve the warden, however, like any accreditation process, there will be a right of revocation if the exacting standards of CSAS are not met.

“Love Hastings Limited is looking forward to working alongside the partners to promote a safer and cleaner environment for visitors, residents and employees, to enjoy the vibrant, busy and diverse town centre.”

Business and community leader Brett McLean said: “It is indeed pleasing to see the wardens who work in partnership with Sussex Police to be actively patrolling the BID area and giving a visible presence in the town centre. “

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