Cleveland Violence Reduction Partnership – CURV – has held the first summit of its kind to discuss how to make the night time economy (NTE) safer.
A wide range of partners took part including local authorities, Cleveland Police, councillors, charities and Cleveland Fire Brigade
Partners discussed a number of approaches to making Cleveland’s thriving NTE safer for everyone.
The summit allowed attendees to discuss what worked – and what didn’t – in each of Cleveland’s four local authority areas.
Partners from Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar and Cleveland will now work on NTE plans for their areas with input from licensees locally.
Training for NTE staff and the provision of emergency bleed kits are expected form part of those plans. Wider roll out of the Ask for Angela scheme is also expected to feature.
Ask for Angela is a national scheme. It aims to help anyone feeling vulnerable on a night out to get the support they need.
In premises operating Ask for Angela, customers can discreetly ask for help from a member of staff without any fuss.
Assistance may include reuniting the customer with a friend or seeing him/her to a taxi. It may also include alerting venue security and/or police if there are serious safety concerns.
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner said: “Cleveland has significant amounts of violence disproportionate to its population.
“We have high rates of knife crime as well as hospitalisation following injuries with a bladed object.
“Everyone at the summit works around centres for the night time economy and many of those centres have very similar problems.
“However, we appreciate that there is no single solution to the problem of violence.”
Anthony Curl, Founder of north east-based charity One Punch UK, said: “We are interested in this because most of the one punch incidents happen around the night time economy. It’s great to know that Cleveland OPCC is working to put something in place.”
Seed funding from CURV over the past year allowed Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar and Cleveland Councils to trial a range of safety measures.
Analysis by CURV identified Cleveland’s serious violence hotspots as Stockton and Middlesbrough town centres, Newport and Parkfield and Oxbridge.
Both town centres have close links to the NTE – and both Newport and Parkfield and Oxbridge border those town centres.