Working together to improve safety and security in York
The York Business Improvement District (York BID), University of York, students’ union YUSU and YorMed are working to improve safety and security in York.
Street rangers funded by York BID provide a friendly presence in the city during the week and on Friday and Saturday nights. Nightsafe student volunteers provide similar service on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Together BID Street Rangers and Nightsafe volunteers ensure that there is immediate support available to anyone who needs it in York City centre most nights.
With the arrival of thousands of new students in York, the York BID, University of York, YUSU and YorMed have teamed up to provide first aid in the city centre, transport to campus and a recovery centre for those needing to recuperate from a night out. In the first 3 nights alone the service has saved the local NHS over £8,000 in ambulance call outs and A&E visits, as figures from the The Kings Fund show an ambulance call alone is £344.
Ashley Mason, Paramedic and Chief Officer at YorMed said: “This service is vital in ensuring vulnerable students who are unfamiliar with York are supported and taken to a place of safety.
"Having developed this idea since 2014 and piloting it in 2016 it’s great to see what a successful impact it is having.”
The system works by looking after students who are vulnerable, diverting them from dangers such as the river. The city centre provision consists of an ambulance and crew who will be mobile and know dangers such as the river edge at Kings Staith.
A team of five, including two members of DoorSafe, staffs the campus base, which opens at 10pm and closes at 6am.
Andrew Lowson executive director of the York BID, which has funded the dedicated city centre ambulance said: “The York Business Improvement District is funding this project as it has a commitment to making the city feel safe and secure.
"The student population is vitally important to the York economy and we want to continue to attract new students from all over the globe to study in our city. Programmes such as this enhance the support network, especially around the river locations”.
Dr Rob Aitken, director of colleges at the University of York said: “The University of York is delighted to work with our partners in the city to ensure our students have a safe and enjoyable time.”
The main services are running all week and a detailed debrief will be done to work out the full impact end figures of how much money this system has saved the local NHS.
Ashley Mason said that “this system demonstrates how partners working together has a wider positive impact on the whole city.”