HAMPSHIRE CONSTABULARY are to supply 100 tabards to welfare officers working in bars and nightclubs across Hampshire and Isle of Wight.

Dedicated welfare officers have received special training to ensure people are safe during a night out, from recognising the signs of drug abuse, being over the alcohol limit, whether someone is under age or vulnerable.

Officers have also been trained to recognise predatory behaviour or any activity that may lead to crime and disorder.

100 new pink tabards with 'welfare' written across the front and back will allow officers to be identified more easily within venues.

Funded by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hart District Council, the tabards will ensure the officers are clearly visible and more approachable when working in venues.

Rob Cohen, force licensing and alcohol harm reduction sergeant, set up the project and is delighted to be able to roll out the tabards.

He said: “It is great to see that licensees across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are employing welfare officers to support their customers and reduce vulnerability in our towns and cities.

“The response from the trade has been very positive. This is an opportunity for venues to highlight the welfare provisions they have in place and encourage others to do the same.

“The improved visibility of welfare support staff in our venues will encourage members of the public to seek help for themselves or others.

“This visibility will be the same in all participating venues, wherever you may go for a night out in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.”

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s interim executive director of residents’ services, Tom Payne, said: “Keeping our residents safe is a priority for both Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hart District Council.

“We are pleased to work with our partners to provide these tabards for the welfare officers.

“The night-time economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and the welfare officers will make people enjoying a night out feel safer and more secure.”

A spokesperson from Hampshire Constabulary said: "We would also like to remind those in the community they can flag areas on a map where they do not feel safe, regardless of whether a crime has taken place.

"The data will then be used to improve safety and introduce new measures, such as night-time patrols or installing better street lighting in the local community. The tool forms part of the government’s whole system approach to tackling violence against women and girls."

For more information, visit: police.uk/streetsafe