A Safe Bus, dedicated to looking after drunk, injured, or lost partygoers, could be coming to an end of an era, after its scheme’s review this year.
The Safe Bus, based on Horseshoe common, was under scrutiny by Bournemouth Council in its Community Overview meeting last Thursday (January 19).
Andrew Williams, Community Safety Manager, said: “The review is mostly about the staffing of current provisions.We want to see if we can release the current Police Officers and PSCOs from the Bus, so they can be patrolling the streets, but instead have security staff (SIA registered staff) on the Bus to ensure that the volunteers and paramedics are safe.”
Mr. Williams added that there will be a budget implication to a renewed service but they would “really like to keep the bus, as it serves other purposes, such as attending events.”
However, Cllr Nick Rose, Community Overview and Scrutiny Panel Member, mentioned that cuts are having to be made throughout the services the council provide. He said:” The council can’t afford to pay for non essential services. It is a non essential service.”
Rose suggested that the National Government should look for longer term legislation adding:”It’s not just the owners of the bar’s who get fined if people get intoxicated, it’s also the bartenders themselves.”
The dedicated community service offers vital support from paramedics and officers, and includes hot and cold running water, a private area for taking police statements and a private treatment room.
The service starts from around 10:15pm, all year round, on Saturday nights and during Friday nights within the summer months.
Claudia Nash, student at Bournemouth University, believes the bus is “vital” for Bournemouth’s nightlife. She added: “I used the Safe Bus when I fell over after leaving Cameo. The paramedic’s were really friendly and they made sure that I was able to get home safe.”
Along with the review of the Safe Bus, the Community Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting last Thursday also reported that an additional regular reviews of crimes and incidents will be conducted, “ensuring licensed premises are complying with their obligations,” that report states.
BUzz spoke to Daniel Asaya, President of SUBU on his thoughts about the potential loss of the safety bus.
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