Street rangers restart Ipswich patrols after coronavirus lockdown
PUBLISHED: 07:06 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:29 31 March 2020
A team of street rangers forced to stop patrols of Ipswich town centre due to the coronavirus crisis have returned to their beat - after the lockdown enabled them to safely go back to work.
The team of four Ipswich Central Town Centre Rangers have walked the streets between 8am and 5pm for many years in a bid to keep people safe, root out trouble and be a visible presence of reassurance.
But the “brave, committed and incredibly hard-working” team in their red uniforms were forced to stop going out due to the global pandemic, in a bid to stay safe.
The group instead kept in touch with stores and police via a RadioLink system to ensure they were still clamping down on anti-social behaviour.
However since prime minister Boris Johnson brought in a tough lockdown a week ago, the streets of Ipswich town centre have been largely deserted.
As such Ipswich Central business improvement district (BID), which manages the rangers, said: “The recent restriction of movement of people on the streets and the closure of many stores means street rangers can now safely work on the streets and abide by social distancing guidelines to be able to protect themselves and others.”
As such the rangers were back in town from Monday, March 30, with BID chairman Terry Baxter saying in a newsletter: “We intend to reintroduce street rangers from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.”
Even though all non-essential businesses have been ordered to close by the government, meaning few shops are open, the rangers will “carry out daily checks on the exteriors of town centre premises to check for damage, signs of attempted forced entry and general maintenance needs”.
They will also “continue monitoring, reporting and sorting out highway/cleansing/street furniture maintenance issues” and “retain regular contact with CCTV, Suffolk police and other relevant organisations who will be working together to maximise a safe and secure town centre environment”.
Mr Baxter said in an email to BID members: “The town centre business community is our one and only priority in these challenging times.
“To this end the street rangers will be out and about around the BID zone, five days a week, to be the eyes and ears for you.”
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