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New taxi marshal service launched to promote safer travelling at night time

21 December 2023

A black cab with an illuminated Taxi sign

A new taxi marshal service has been launched in Northampton to help people to travel more safely during peak Night Time Economy (NTE) periods.

The marshals will be positioned at the taxi rank on Mercer’s Row in Northampton town centre between 11pm and 5am on Friday and Saturday nights during pay weekends, bank holiday weekends and additional weekends during busy and festive periods.

Taxi Marshals will be responsible for making sure lone females, vulnerable people and those accompanied by children are safely supervised when using taxis as well as addressing any conflicts arising on the taxi rank and reporting any incidents to the Licensing Authority and Northamptonshire Police.

They will also help to manage taxi queueing systems and move on private hire vehicles ‘plying for hire’ and will be SIA licensed and accredited in accordance with Security Industry Authority (SIA).

The scheme, which launches on Friday 22 December through to September 2025 with the possibility to extend, will be funded using Safer Streets 5 funding led by the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC) and delivered by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). EP Traffic Services LTD have been successful in procuring the contract.

This initiative pilot will enhance the current work carried out by WNC and Northamptonshire Police to work with taxi drivers and private hire vehicles to ensure they comply with legislation and carry out the relevant training.

This innovative pilot is just one of the steps we are taking to improve the Night Time Economy in West Northamptonshire and make our town centres a safer and more welcoming place for everyone.

As well as improving the safety of women and girls and vulnerable people, the taxi marshals aim to reduce illegal ‘pick ups’ and diffuse confrontational situations to make nights out more enjoyable for both members of the public and our taxi drivers who play an important role in getting people home safely.

The marshals will also help to reduce the pressure emergency services face each weekend by reducing the risk of road traffic accidents and using conflict management training to diffuse escalating situations.
Cllr David Smith, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services

Other projects and improvements in the Night Time Economy funded via Safer Streets funding include taxi rank lighting upgrades, additional CCTV cameras and Safer Night’s Out routes and help points. In addition to this, Northants Police also staff permanent Operations around predatory behaviour in the town centre.

This taxi marshal scheme will make a positive contribution to the safety and confidence of people who are out at night in Northampton town centre.

It is one of several schemes that have been funded through money I have secured from the Government’s Safer Streets initiative, which has provided more than £4 million for practical projects to prevent crime and reduce anti-social behaviour.
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold

The scheme is also part of a wider programme of work to tackle violence against women and girls in the Night Time Economy that has seen £1.2 million spent on initiatives including ID scanning technology at late night venues, environmental improvements such as lighting and CCTV, training for staff in pubs and clubs to recognise vulnerability and challenge harassment, the introduction of the SNOvan and the Licensing SAVI scheme to help premises improve safety for customers at their venues.

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