Night-time Economy Security Challenges

Case Study & Recommendations

Violent Crime Stats Higher than 10 Years Ago





Approximately 8 years ago Blackpool council presented their objectives to enhance the night-time economy areas’ of the town and improve the security atmospherics and reduce crime.

This article outlines the council’s objectives and their intended outcomes, leaving readers to assess whether these objectives have been successfully achieved.  Additionally, it presents a forward-looking example to further enhance crime prevention within the town’s night-time economy locations due to the high violent crime statistics.



Blackpool Council Strategy and Core Vision

Council Objectives

Example Solutions




Blackpool is a vibrant town and has approximately 1600 licensed premises, which play a crucial role in supporting its local economy. The town heavily relies on tourism, and its thriving attractions and Night-time economy that attracts Millions of visitors annually.

A significant portion of the local residents find employment within these licensed establishments, providing vital income opportunities for the community.

However, Blackpool’s popularity as a visitor destination brings challenges for crime prevention in the areas frequented by visitors. This unfortunate reality significantly contributes to the overall crime statistics in the town, posing challenges for local police and authorities to address effectively.

What have the council been doing to foster safe spaces and promote positive atmospherics around night time economy areas in Blackpool over the last 10 years?

Blackpool Council Strategy

The following text will layout the councils strategy and objectives and allow the reader to answer the key questions:


Blackpool Council Core Vision 2014 (Blackpool Council Website)

“In 2027, Blackpool Town Centre is the thriving heart of Britain’s favourite resort, offering all year-round high-quality shopping, leisure, cultural and entertainment destination.

Nine years on since the core vision for the night time economy areas, how’s it looking so far?

Is sticking to the Group Think mindset working?

Blackpool Council Strategy

In 2014 the Councils Night-time Economy Working Group held its first meeting.  A subgroup was setup to focus on Crime, Disorder, and Public safety.



In their 2015 report, the group emphasised several key points that were seen as vital requirements to improve the perception and safety of residents and visitors while socialising in Blackpool tourist areas.

The following headings are from the council report, the subsequent descriptions of each heading are what those heading are supposed to be achieving and have been added by the author.

The report included:

More Visible Policing: Increasing the presence of police officers in the night-time economy areas to create a visible deterrent against criminal activities and provide a sense of security for the public.

Is it happening?

Safer Parking: Implementing measures to enhance parking facilities in the area, ensuring that they are well-lit, properly maintained, and equipped with appropriate security measures to reduce the risk of theft and ensure the safety of vehicles and their owners.

Are parking areas well lit, CCTV monitored, and patrolled by security?

Cleaner and Safer Atmosphere: Undertaking initiatives to maintain buildings, cleanliness and safety in public spaces, such as streets and back ally’s, to create a more pleasant and inviting environment for residents and visitors alike.  The approach is known as The Broken Window Theory.  

Is there currently a visual appearance of this objective being implemented?

Reduction in Anti-Social Behaviour: Implementing strategies to address and minimise anti-social behaviour, such as disturbances and rowdiness, fostering a more peaceful and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone.

Has it happend?

CCTV (Monitored): Installing surveillance cameras in strategic locations throughout the town centre areas, with proper monitoring and recording systems, to improve crime prevention and aid in investigations if necessary.  The key to a successful CCTV monitoring system is using operators who can deliver behavioural analysis approaches.  Otherwise they may as well be asleep until required to supply past video footage.

Are the prevention elements working?

Street Lighting Improvements: Upgrading Street lighting infrastructure to ensure well-illuminated public spaces, thus enhancing visibility and reducing the likelihood of accidents and criminal incidents.

Is there a visible improvement?.

First Aiders in Licensed Premises: Encouraging licensed establishments to have qualified first aiders on-site to provide immediate medical assistance if needed, enhancing the safety and well-being of customers.

Has this objective been achieved?

By addressing these essential requirements, the goal was to create a more secure and inviting night-time economy, promoting a positive perception among residents and visitors while also fostering a thriving and vibrant night time economy.





Any visitors or residents of Blackpool can answers these questions from their perspective. Taking into consideration the objectives have been in place for the last approximately 8 years.

  1. Has the council invested the time and resources to achieve their objectives?
  2. Is there a distinct improvement within the night time economy areas?
  3. Has the security and safety perception improved from the general public in the night time socialising areas?
  4. Has the security and safety perception become worse over the last 10 years?
  5. Are buildings and areas well maintained?
  6. Is there a more Visible Police Presence.
  7. Are night time economy and visitor attraction areas creating positive atmospherics.
  8. Is the street lighting creating safer atmospherics.


Even though the strategy does not mention long standing security approaches, in essence the council strategy involves the following:

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Broken Window Theory & Defensible Spaces.

Who is providing advice to the council regarding the path ahead, and what factors have contributed to the regression of the situation over the past decade considering the councils strategy and core vision published in 2014?

Has there been a lack of leadership in pushing froward with Council Objectives?

Example Solutions

Public & Private Sector Partnership

Public and private sector partnerships on security matters refer to collaborative efforts between local government entities and private businesses to address security challenges and enhance safety for the broader community. These partnerships leverage the strengths of both sectors, combining resources, expertise, and knowledge to develop comprehensive security & safety solutions.

Leveraging the above type of partnerships has the potential to substantially improve the crime situation in Blackpools night time economy areas.


Current Blackpool Council initiative:

Business Improvement District.  Known as the BID.  Businesses within the town centre area pay an annual fee to fund the BID.

The core aims are as follows: (Blackpool Council website)

  • To enhance the safety of Blackpool Town Centre.
  • To develop a more attractive and welcoming street environment.
  • To give members a collective voice and promote the Town Centre.
  • To improve the BID area environment.

The BID initiative requires input from a security professional and a full audit of the security elements it provides.

The BID security manning elements are known as wardens and includes the CCTV operation within the town centre. The BID will benefit substantially from a security professional completing an operational audit, and implementing improvements.

key questions for the BID leadership:

  1. Has the BID ever been audited by private sector security professionals and improvements implemented?
  2. Is there an annual audit process?
  3. Is there an on going Operational Audit System in place implemented by a private sector professional?
  4. Is there an ongoing lessons learned implementation system operating?
  5. Does the BID leadership audit its self or is it audited by another public sector department?
  6. What measuring system is used to value the effectiveness of the BID approach?
  7. How is the return on investment communicated to organisations who pay the BID Fee?
  8. What lessons learned have been implemented in the last 5 years?

Example Private Security Partnerships

Creating a proactive unified private security approach within a town centre setting can significantly contribute to the safety and security of all visitors to the night-time economy areas. When private security teams collaborate and work together in a coordinated manner, they can efficiently address potential security threats, deter criminal activities, and respond promptly to incidents.

A unified approach ensures better coverage of the entire area, reducing blind spots and vulnerabilities that could be exploited by criminals. This enhanced security presence can create a safer environment that fosters a positive perception among visitors, encouraging them to frequent the night-time economy establishments with greater confidence.

The above public & private sector partnership would involve investment, coordination, planning and deliver significant improvements in reducing violent crime within the effected tourist areas.


The security operational requirements:

Central control location.

Mobile patrols that double up as rapid response – Foot and Vehicle.

All doors with security staff connected via radio.

An integrated security approach.


Current obstacles to the above examples:

Council commitment & leadership.

Group think, no private sector input.

No unified security approach.

Taxi marshals are undervalued and untrained.

Local police not excepting a public & private sector partnership.

Door staff having access to the BID team radio system is not to be mistaken for a unified, coordinated, preventive approach.



Who within the council is taking leadership on this critical issue of safety and security within the town centre night time economy areas?

The financial benefits of the visitor locations within the town are substantial and create thousand of jobs for local residents.  The council need to commit to developing and building on their objectives published approximately 8 years ago.

Relying on the police is clearly not a viable option as seen with the crime stats.  The crime stats indicate the situation is regressing year on year.

Commitment is required.


Blackpool is an exceptional town within the United Kingdom, drawing in millions of visitors each year. Given its popularity and the influx of tourists, ensuring security and safety becomes paramount. As a result, a forward-thinking approach is imperative to address the challenges of creating positive atmospherics and delivering a well maintained, and controlled environment.


About the author:

Tony Gledhill, a seasoned protective security consultant and founder of Mildot Group. With extensive international experience, Tony has designed and executed security strategies for leading energy and construction organisations operating in high-risk and complex environments.   His private sector expertise extends to training international government protection teams responsible for VIPs and critical assets, plus thousands of armed & unarmed private security guards. Leveraging over 16 years in the private sector after a distinguished 22-year military career, he brings a wealth of real-world knowledge.

Armed with real world operational insight, he knows what can be achieved with reasonable and practicable security solutions.