21 Dec 2015

Islington's Operation Nightsafe helps save lives and keeps hundreds safe

Islington's Operation Nightsafe - the first of its kind in London - has helped hundreds of late-night revellers in its first year and saved lives on Islington's streets.

The borough has one of the highest concentrations of bars, pubs and other licensed premises in Britain.  Islington Council set up Operation Nightsafe in December last year, in partnership with Islington Police, to help target late-night excess.

Operation Nightsafe provides a rapid-response police capability at night, and also a police-accredited street patrolling service operated by Parkguard.  These are funded by a late-night levy payable by licensed businesses open after midnight.

Now Operation Nightsafe patrols are working their busiest nights of the year - the Christmas and New Year party season.  This includes a mobile “safe haven” at nightlife hotspots.

Islington Council can also reveal the extent of the work carried out by the street patrols in Operation Nightsafe's first year:

• Operation Nightsafe patrols carried out health and welfare checks of 316 people found vulnerable due to excess alcohol or drug use resulting in ill health or incapacity.    Some of these were people returning from other boroughs.  In almost half of these cases the patrol team either secured transport for the person or made sure they walked home safely.

• The Patrol Medic helped 40 people who were intoxicated, and 28 people who had injuries requiring specialist treatment.

• Serious incidents attended by the Patrol Medic include arriving first on the scene to a man who had been stabbed in the chest, and helped stop the bleeding; finding a man who had suffered a massive head injury, and helping save his life; and helping to save the life of an unconscious man who had been struck by a bus

• Dealing with 365 incidents involving violent or aggressive behaviour

• Operation Nightsafe patrols have warned and advised 738 people for their conduct and brought 79 incidents to the attention of the police

• On average, Operation Nightsafe has informally visited on average 40-50 licensed venues

• Police have made 170 arrests for offences ranging from GBH and ABH to public order offences and possession of drugs, and responded to more than 400 emergency calls to night-time economy-related incidents

• On an average weekend, Operation Nightsafe makes 40-50 informal visits to licensed venues to help makes sure there are no problems

• There have also been 220 formal visits to premises to ensure high standards are being met and licensing conditions are being complied with
Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council's executive member for community safety, said: "Islington has a big night-time economy, which brings benefits but also has a big impact on residents.

"We brought in Operation Nightsafe to deal with late-night excess in Islington and these statistics show it has made a massive difference in its first year.

"Patrols have helped people get home safely, helped defuse dangerous situations and the Patrol Medic has played a crucial role in helping save the lives of seriously injured people on our streets.

"This is a big contribution to making Islington a safer and better place to live."

Sgt Kevin Blenkinsopp, of Islington Police, said: "One of the most important things we have achieved is an improved relationship with venues to take an early intervention approach to prevent crime and disorder, in partnership with the police and other partners.

“Overall, Operation Nightsafe is playing a big part in helping to keep Islington safe."

For more on Operation Nightsafe see http://www.islington.gov.uk/services/policing-safety/how/Pages/Night-Safe-Patrol-Service.aspx

Notes to editors

All the data relates to patrols in the period December 4 2014 - October 31 2015.

Media contact Information

If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:

Islington Council media team – media@islington.gov.uk or 020 7527 2307.  Out of hours: 07769 163303

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:

Contact Islington – www.islington.gov.uk/contactus or 020 7527 2000