In September 2022 we were approached by Bath BID to ask us to tender for a Safer Streets Project. Bath BID wanted to deliver a Safe Bus project operating in Bath City Centre. We worked with the BID Team to design the branding, choose a suitable vehicle, give advice on fitting out the vehicle, stock the bus with the right equipment, and write policies, procedures, training and a handbook for the operation of the bus. We worked with Bath BID to select a First Aid provider and security firm and we also created a volunteering strategy and advertising campaigns.
Bath Safe Bus officially started in March 2023, our team attended the Safe Bus for two weekends to ensure that it was operating to a high standard and were available to answer questions and problem-solve for 7 months after launch. It now runs every Friday and Saturday from 22:30 to 04:30. The aim is to prevent crime, reduce anti-social behaviour and offer a safe space for those who need it, whilst reducing pressure on local emergency services. In addition, the bus is also available on other busy nights including Bank Holidays, Freshers’ Week, the Bath Christmas Market, and other city-wide events.
From March - May 2023, the bus supported 126 people:
100 welfare incidents (including e.g. needing a safe space to wait for a taxi, needing to charge their phone, or someone who may be struggling with their mental health and needing someone to talk with.)
26 medical incidents, including 19 medical incidents resolved by the paramedic at the bus and prevented from calling the emergency services
Research from The Portman Group shows that every £1 spent on a Safe Space service can offset public sector costs by up to £9.
“Bath Safe Bus is an excellent initiative and will help people using the night-time economy feel safe and have a place of safety should they need it. The resource will take a lot of pressure off of Police and Ambulance supporting vulnerable or intoxicated people and will be a location where people will know they can access support when other drop-in services may not be available.”
Police Sergeant 4531 Jonathan Raisey, Bath City Centre Neighbourhood Team
Examples of crime prevention:
During the 2nd week of service, a young intoxicated female and a male claiming to be her brother were refused a taxi. They were picked up by the volunteers and brought to the safe bus to sober up. After being treated and supported by the Safe Bus team, it was discovered the male was not her brother and was in fact trying to take advantage of the intoxicated female. The police were called and the male was questioned while the female was taken home safely.
During the recent tragic incident in Southgate Street, the team from the Safe Bus and the Bath BID night marshals were first on the scene. The coordination provided by the Bath BID Citylink Radios and the Safe Bus operation has been acknowledged by Avon and Somerset Police to have been of significant benefit in the rapid response provided.
Our major achievement within the past 12 months is having created a reliable and trustworthy service which is already making a difference in people's safety within a thriving nighttime economy. The Bath Safe Bus is the focal point for all the support organisations within the nighttime economy and a briefing is delivered from the bus at 10.30 pm to share information with partners.
Improving feelings of safety in the community at night by having a visible presence in the city centre - there for support and pastoral care over ‘policing’
Raising awareness of women’s safety in the NTE, and reducing VAWG Violence Against Women & Girls) in the NTE by sharing information and raising awareness.
Supporting local businesses; providing an additional level of security & safety, as well as being somewhere for them to signpost vulnerable patrons.
Acting as an “initial contact” for people using the NTE who may struggle with alcohol or substance use but who otherwise would not present to services
Finally, we wrote a fundraising strategy and applied for money from five grants and identified 80 individual or corporate donors with 5 applications made. Leaving the client with a list of other grants and corporates to apply to, best practice answers and fundraising marketing materials to use.
I have really enjoyed working with the NTES Team, they have been supportive and responsive throughout the project. I am delighted with the Safe Bus, it’s been a great project to work on and most importantly it’s making a positive impact on Bath City Centre. I would highly recommend working with the NTES Team.
Client Testimonial - Nick Bishop Bath BID and Safe Bus Lead