Harrogate BID is delighted to announce that the new Town Centre Support Officer (TCSO) role has now launched, helping to keep the town safe and welcoming for all.

Kiam Taylor, a former civil servant, has now kickstarted the new role at the BID – and said he is excited to be part of a team making a positive difference in the North Yorkshire town.

Following extensive research and feedback from BID Members, the new job has been introduced as the BID continues to work towards achieving the objectives and the overall Business Plan for its second term to support, safeguard and improve Harrogate and make the town the best it can be.

Matthew Chapman, Harrogate BID Manager, said: “During the consultation for our term two Business Plan, a high percentage of our members told us that shoplifting, threats to staff and general anti-social behaviour outside of their properties were their main concerns.

“We have listened and reacted to this. The Town Centre Support Officer, fully funded by Harrogate BID, will be a visible, engaging, evidence collating uniformed presence on the street looking to be the glue that brings partners together to create positive outcomes for all.”

Kiam will be the eyes and ears on the ground for the BID, using his sharp eye for detail to help reduce the risk of crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

The TCSO will also build relationships with BID Member businesses and property owners to reduce the probability of loitering and other issues in hot spot areas of the town.

A key part of the TCSO role will involve working with partners, including North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Council, CCTV Operatives and Harrogate Homeless Project, to tackle any problems they may face around crime.

To enhance the BID area, Kiam will report any problems to these key organisations. As well as this, he will also support any campaigns, projects or events they may host in a bid to tackle issues in the town.

On working alongside the BID’s new TCSO, Harrogate area commander for North Yorkshire Police, Chief Inspector Simon Williamson, said: “By working together we aim to make Harrogate, which is already a very safe town centre, even more appealing to everyone who visits, works, shops or lives there.

“This kind of partnership work allows us to all combine our skills, knowledge and responsibilities to achieve shared goals that benefit the whole community. So, we’re looking forward to working with the new support officer in Harrogate and continuing to work closely with Harrogate BID, the local authority, businesses and other organisations that strive to keep the town safe, pleasant and successful.”

Any BID members businesses or partners wishing to speak with Kiam, or set up a meeting, should contact the BID team by emailing info@harrogatebid.co.uk