Businesses fund civilian teams to help keep Leeds city centre revellers safe

A new civilian team hits the streets of Leeds tomorrow night to bolster the efforts of police and private security staff in keeping city centre revellers safe.

Adam Thompson and Kamer Hussain are two of the new Leeds Evening Ambassadors. Picture: David Lindsay

The majority of the funding has come from LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District), with support from Leeds City Council and BACIL (Business Against Crime in Leeds).

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LeedsBID chief executive Andrew Cooper said: “The Evening Ambassadors are an essential part of ensuring that great evening experience for those coming into the city centre.

“An extension of that all-important Welcome to Leeds means that regardless of time of day, people are getting the same warm and friendly reception, with businesses, statutory and voluntary organisations all working together for the benefit of city users.”

While the existing Welcome Ambassadors are focused on greeting visitors in the daytime, their evening counterparts have professional security training and will play a part in preventing crime and disorder.

They will be at Leeds Station taxi rank and other city ranks, supervising queues and helping members of the public to get home quickly, as well as providing a presence in busy areas like Call Lane, Albion Street and Lower Briggate.

Coun Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities, said: “We very much support the introduction of the Evening Ambassadors that will offer a helpful, reassuring and supportive presence in the city centre for both visitors and local businesses.”

The team will use the BACIL radio network, which connects more than 350 retailers and night-time venues with each other and police.

They will also work on Bank Holiday Sundays, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.