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Cambridge - a Purple Flag safe city



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Sponsored feature | By Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID

Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID
Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID

I spent Friday night out on the town. Great, I hear you say - actually I was part of a multi-agency team self-assessing our beautiful city for our Purple Flag award.

This is a nationally recognised scheme that accredits a city as having a safe evening economy. It is really quite interesting to view a city as a whole over 12 hours from 5pm to 5am and see how the evening economy starts, builds, peaks, slows and disperses.

We look at activities for families, how the open spaces are used, what’s on in our theatres, cinemas, museums and other cultural venues, how customers and staff travel into the city and return home at night, and do the bus, taxi and train options meet these needs.

It was great to see such a vibrant city, with many families out punting, people having pre-theatre drinks, or sitting on the lawn at King’s College. Having cocktails with friends, playing board games in the games shop and some students on the way to formal hall in black tie and long dresses.

What was really pleasing was the great awareness in evening and late-night venues of customer safety and welfare. It is probably not widely known that many venues as part of their licence requirements have door staff, and many of these wear body cameras to assist if incidents occur. Most venues also have dedicated welfare staff and allocated safe areas to support customers who have maybe overindulged and are vulnerable. Most operate projects like ‘Ask Angela’ for when that date is not going to plan.

We were joined by representatives from the BID-sponsored Street Pastors team. This volunteer group operate most Saturdays and they are on hand to assist with those who have overindulged and need some water, flip flops, help to find friends, need their parents calling or help to get a taxi home. We also met with the BID-funded taxi marshalls who patrol the taxi rank and ensure the queue is orderly and that single females are prioritised.

Next time your out in the city at night, be aware that venues and their staff are there to ensure you have safe and enjoyable experience.

Read more from Ian Sandison and Cambridge BID

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