Choose Respect, Not Regrets – York’s Latest Campaign Focuses on Courteous Behaviour at Night

Image credit: Gareth Buddo

York BID and partners have recently launched their latest campaign ‘Choose Respect, Not Regrets’, a Purple Flag initiative, which highlights the importance of respectful behaviour in the city.

The campaign was devised after increased reports of hate crime towards hospitality staff and highlights a need for behavioural change through key messaging. It urges those enjoying York for one night to consider the impact of their actions on residents, businesses and those visiting for longer, and enforces this through repetition of key messaging, graphics and colours throughout the city.

The unveiling of the new shop wraps brought together representatives from a number of partner organisations, including York BID, Street Cleaners, Street Rangers, Marshals, Eboracum, City of York Council (Safer York Partnership, Community Safety, Civil Enforcement, Neighbourhood Enforcement and Licensing), North Yorkshire Police Non-Enforcement Officers, British Transport Police’s Community Support Officer, Make It York, York Rescue Boat and Street Angels.

Campaign themes include anti-littering, using respectful language, drinking in moderation, river safety, rail travel, public urination and street noise. The messaging can be found on shop wraps, bollards, planters, cigarette bins, adverts, buses, and toilets, starting from York Rail Station and continuing throughout the city centre.

York was recently reaccredited with a prestigious Purple Flag designation from the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM). The outcome of this rigorous assessment means that the city offers a vibrant, diverse and, most importantly, safe experience for residents and visitors enjoying the city from the early evening and into the night.

The management of this designation has sat with York BID since late 2023, taking over from City of York Council.

Carl Alsop, Operations Manager at York BID, is coordinating the campaign. He said:

“This campaign aims to encourage respectful behaviour. York has a unique and diverse nighttime economy, and pubs, bars and restaurants are crucial to the success of this. We want everyone, from residents and students to workers and visitors, to have a safe and inviting experience in the city. We chose Feasegate as our shop wrap location to enhance the area and have used as many places as possible to showcase repetitious messaging for the intended audiences. This is all part of a much larger campaign around safety and respect for all.’

Councillor Peter Kilbane, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Economy and Culture at City of York Council, said:

“I welcome this campaign which asks everyone who enjoys our city centre’s vibrant evening economy to respect all who work in it. The city’s hospitality, transport and security workers spend their evenings looking after us, making sure people have great night out, while keeping us all safe. We take our hats off to them and call on everyone to show them nothing but kindness and respect. We’ll be sharing the message with people as they plan their trip to York, travel and arrive here, and while they’re out and about in the city: ‘Choose respect, not regrets’.