Businesses in the Blackburn BID area have been notified of a month long pilot project to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town centre. The scheme by the Community Safety Partnership Team at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council launches today (Monday 9 March 2015) and will run for 4 weeks during week days.
Using a mobile response vehicle called an ‘Ibulance’ a trained team of engagement workers from the charity, Child Action Northwest (CANW) will target areas within the town centre and surrounding business areas that are prone to anti-social behaviour such as begging and drunkenness.
Karen Timperley, Community Safety Project Officers explained that the pilot is intended to raise awareness of anti-social behaviour and should not be used to report crime.
She said, ‘The scheme will attempt to engage with those people who are vulnerable, in Blackburn Town Centre and signpost them to accessible services. Our partner agency Child Action North West will provide a mobile vehicle called an Ibulance with a distinct livery offering a strong and highly contemporary appearance. The vehicle will be positioned in the town centre on Monday – Friday between the hours of 12pm and 6pm for a 4 week period from Monday 9th March 2015. Outreach workers who will be based on the vehicle will endeavour to capture details of the problem, engage with young people and adults, assess their individual needs and look to connect them with the right support. This has proved effective elsewhere in engaging with people who are not accessing mainstream services. ‘
Initially the mobile vehicle will predominantly be based on Church Street and business who wish to refer a member of the public to this service have been given a mobile number or radio link code to contact an outreach worker.
Should business staff wish to visit the mobile vehicle CANW has extended an invitation to traders to visit the team in town so that they can voice any concerns.
Harriet Roberts, BID Manager said, ‘Under the BID’s ‘Safer Secure’ partnership with Blackburn Business Against Crime and Lancashire Police we understand that that the issues that exist are being caused by a very small number of people at specific times and in certain areas. We’ll be feeding in this intelligence and experience to the pilot so that the CANW team on the Ibulance can target the exact areas, individuals and groups who may be causing concerns for businesses.’
The BID first piloted the Ibulance on Mad Friday as part of support for emergency services during the Christmas drinking period. BID Manager, Harriet Roberts has arranged a meeting with the project team to hear feedback from the first few weeks which may feed shape how the scheme may be developed to support businesses affected by anti-social behaviour in the town in the future.