Merseyside Police praise for CSAS security staff as waste sites reopen
Staff from Liverpool-based company Paramount Stewarding and Security are using specific police powers to assist with traffic diversions and vehicle queues at four Household Waste Recycling Centres in Merseyside which have reopened following the Government’s easing of coronavirus restrictions.
A total of 11 Paramount staff have been deployed at two of the Household Waste Recycling Centres – Old Swan and Otterspool in Liverpool, and at the Centres in Bootle and Southport in Sefton. They are helping to ensure local residents use only designated, coned lanes to the Centres rather than usual access points, and direct non-site traffic to through routes.
As well as providing guidance at the start of the queue, their remit also includes keeping open access to businesses located near the queue lanes, as well as monitoring driver behaviour and responding to any issues.
The staff have been accredited with certain police powers by Merseyside’s Chief Constable under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS), a voluntary scheme, contained in Section 40 of the Police Reform Act 2002.
The role of assessing private sector companies seeking approval to run a CSAS scheme is carried out on behalf of the National Police Chiefs’ Council by Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI), a police-owned organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service throughout the UK to deliver a wide range of crime prevention initiatives.
PCPI carries out checks to establish whether companies are ‘fit and proper’ to exercise CSAS powers and then makes recommendations to Chief Constables in the area the scheme will operate.
It is Chief Constables in England and Wales who decide whether to accredit employed people already working in roles that contribute to maintaining and improving community safety with limited but targeted powers.
PCPI has assessed more than 120 private sector companies seeking to run a CSAS. The scheme significantly increases the number of businesses able to deliver services that reduce low level crime and disorder whilst assisting police by easing demands on their time and resources.
Paramount’s CSAS staff have been deployed along with 21 traffic stewards who are briefed daily about issues regarding safety. All staff wear uniforms and have been provided with face masks, personal hand sanitiser and training on all social distancing measures.
Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority, in partnership with its contractor Veolia, operates all 14 Centres across Merseyside most of which re-opened for cars only (no vans or commercial vehicles) on Monday, 4 May 2020 after discussions with local councils and police to put in place traffic management systems for queuing and diversions as well as coronavirus restrictions.
Paramount Security and Stewarding’s Director, Christine Fletcher, said providing staff and assisting ventures that involve the easing of coronavirus restrictions is a vital role.
“In times of uncertainty and worry, the public seek out reassurance and guidance from those in the frontline. Our staff have found that a friendly face, providing strong, clear instructions has been welcomed by the public. Where they have been confused by any ambiguity and mixed messages around the easing of restrictions, we have been able to guide people in the right way, with the right amount of support.”
Christine added: “The public have reached out to us on many occasions in recent weeks to offer thanks to our CSAS teams. Some have been glad of someone to point them in the right direction, some have been glad that we managed the traffic well and defused situations that could have deteriorated, and some have been so nervous about leaving their house, that they were just relieved to see a friendly face.”
Guy Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer, PCPI, said: “This is an excellent example of where properly trained and accredited staff can help their communities. The CSAS initiative is an excellent route to swiftly provide staff to assist in policing duties, which enables warranted police officers to be utilised elsewhere.”
PCPI Compliance Manager, Ken Meanwell, who leads on CSAS, said: “CSAS accredited officers are now accepted as part of the extended policing family. Traffic management plays a vital role in controlling access to recycling centres, giving clear guidance to motorists allowing business to be resumed whilst ensuring the safety of visitors and staff according to government guidelines.”
Merseyside Police Chief Constable, Andy Cooke QPM, said: “The CSAS scheme is an excellent example of how we can work in partnership and capitalise on the knowledge and experience of trained staff.
“Since lockdown restrictions were lifted and recycling sites re-opened, we have seen an increase in the volume of traffic using roads to access the sites on Merseyside.
“By giving accreditation to a company whose staff are already experienced in maintaining community safety, it means that we can utilise their skills to deal with traffic management and community engagement while also saving valuable police time.”
Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority’s Chief Executive, Carl Beer, said: “We’re pleased that we’ve got the majority of our Centres reopen, and would like to pass on our thanks to our District partners and Merseyside Police who have facilitated the traffic management plans and the assistance on queuing at sites.
“It’s very reassuring that Paramount Stewarding and Security employees are CSAS accredited, and they have provided excellent support at our Centres in Liverpool and Sefton.”
CSAS creates a framework for public and private bodies to work in partnership with the police, providing additional uniformed presence in communities and capitalising on the skills and information captured by those already engaged with the community.
All schemes are managed, monitored and assessed at a local level by the responsible police force. Main benefits of the scheme for the Police Service include:
- increasing uniformed presence on the streets (CSAS accredited persons wear the uniform of their employing organisation, with an identification badge endorsed by the local police force)
- saving valuable police time in community safety to deal with low-level crime and disorder
- promoting greater business involvement and partnership working with the police, and allowing the police to influence the training of businesses, such as security companies.
About Paramount Stewarding and Security Ltd
Launched in 2002 by the chief stewards at Everton and Liverpool Football Clubs, Paramount Stewarding and Security today provides the security, stewarding, crowd and road management at some of the largest sports, cultural and festival events around its home town of Liverpool and throughout the UK. Its sports events include football, tennis, road running, horse racing and motor racing. It is also experienced in the education sector providing security services to schools and colleges.
Tel: 0151 922 5115