ZERO Tolerance – a campaign cracking down on town centre anti-social behaviour – was launched last week.
It comes on the back of taxi drivers and marshals reporting they have been on the end of threatening and abusive behaviour by a minority of the people out and about late at night.
A town centre working group was set up to help tackle the problem, and put forward a number of proposals to deal with the perpetrators, which led to the Worthing Taxi Marshal Scheme.
On Friday and Saturday nights, Security Industry Authority trained security staff are on duty at the South Street Square taxi rank to make sure that late night revellers get home safely.
This service, administered by the council, is paid for by the town’s licensed venues and Worthing Taxi Association.
Zero Tolerance, which tackles all anti-social behaviour, includes officers from Worthing and Adur councils, Sussex Police, the Safer Communities Partnership, Worthing Town Centre Initiative and members of Worthing Pubwatch, Worthing Taxi Association, the street pastors, the taxi marshals and the management of the town’s two nightclubs – Club One and Occasions on the working committee.
Diane Guest, chairman of the group and Worthing Pub Watch, said: “In support of the Zero Tolerance campaign, posters and leaflets will be distributed and displayed in all town centre licensed venues, taxis and private hire vehicles, bringing to the public’s attention Worthing Pubwatch’s pledge to ban, from all licensed venues in the town, anyone caught using, or threatening to use, violence against taxi marshals or drivers.”
Inspector Allan Lowe of Sussex Police said: “Officers do all they can to support the marshals and the drivers and we fully support the zero tolerance campaign.
“We already carry out patrols in the area and also monitor CCTV and this will continue. From now on the message is that your night out does not end when you leave these venues, if you misbehave either at the rank or in a taxi you will be banned from licensed venues in Worthing.
“We do not tolerate anti-social or violent behaviour and if you carry out these types of behaviour you can expect to be dealt with by Sussex Police officers.”
Vicky Vaughan, vice-chairman of the licensing and control committee, added: “I am really pleased to see this campaign being highlighted.
“The taxi marshal scheme has been highly successful in Worthing in reducing incidents of anti-social behaviour and crime and disorder in and around the town centre taxi rank and together with other measures such as the street pastors is resulting in Worthing being a much safer place to enjoy a night out. I am grateful to all those who contribute to these schemes.”