Safety marshals deployed in Brighton to help vulnerable people at night as 'more drink to excess'

  • ITV News Meridian's Tom Savvides joined the safety marshals on one night shift

Safety marshals have been deployed in Brighton and Hove to help vulnerable people on nights out.

The highly trained team patrol specific locations around the city's pubs and bars on Friday and Saturday nights.

Nick Strickland, night safety marshal, said: "I think it's getting more and more regular. I think the stuff we come across is becoming more and more.

"People drink to the point that they are legless, and then they don't know what's going on and they're by themselves."

The new scheme is part of measures by Sussex Police to make the streets safer for those who may be distressed, drunk or under the influence of drugs.

Those requiring help are taken to designated safe spaces or guided to the railway station or taxi ranks so they can get home safely.

The team also keep an eye out for missing people and report suspected troublemakers.

The night safety marshals work alongside police in the city. Credit: ITV News Meridian

During one night patrol, a young man admitted to taking MDMA while under the influence of alcohol.

He was sitting on the pavement in West Street while his friends were inside a club.

After a number of failed attempts to contact his friends for support, the marshals took him to a designated safe space to keep him out of harm's way.

Greg Miranda, night safety marshal, said: "It's regular, any type of night-time economy situation like that, Friday, Saturday, it's going to happen. We're just purely here to help."

On the same night patrol, a man wanted on recall to prison is spotted by security staff at a pub.

The marshals are alerted, who then contact the police. A few moments later the man is arrested.

The marshals wear high-visibility uniforms, fitted with body-worn video cameras. Credit: ITV News Meridian

The marshals, from Pagoda Security, work closely with police and are dressed in high-visibility uniforms, fitted with radios and body-worn video cameras.

Lee Craig, Managing Director at Pagoda Security, said: "With the main focus on reducing violence and vulnerability within the night-time economy our night safety marshals have been carefully selected and provided with additional training in readiness to deploy onto the streets."

Detective Superintendent Stuart Hale, Sussex Police, said: "As people are going back home as well, they need that help and support.

"If you don't regularly come to the city, do you know where the taxi rank is? Do you know where the train station is?

"But it is also there to be a physical presence, you know, actually I appreciate if there's physical presence there then a crime is less likely to happen."

PC Jamie Botting, of Brighton and Hove's Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "Security staff have long been an essential part of keeping people safe in the night-time economy, acting as eyes and ears on the ground with proven experience of spotting issues before they occur, de-escalating situations and helping to catch offenders."