A NEW mobile security service has hit the streets of Kidderminster to tackle anti-social behaviour at the district's pubs, clubs and bars.

Four security officers from Stourport's Priority Security Group visited nighttime venues across Wyre Forest over the course of the weekend to offer its response service to businesses as they reopen from the coronavirus lockdown.

Two new teams of security officers, who are all first aid and bodyguard trained, will be patrolling and responding to calls for security assistance at participating venues in an effort to clamp down on anti-social behaviour and support local businesses who may not be able to afford their own doormen.

Director Chris Booton, who previously worked in a national security firm, said: "We've been training up security guards for about 12 months and decided to start offering our own mobile service.

"This sort of service is already up and running in big cities like Liverpool and Bristol but we have brought it to a smaller town like Kidderminster. This has been needed in Kidderminster for a long time.

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"It works partly as a deterrent because people see the officers entering the pubs and they're carrying handcuffs and look the part - people were coming up to us and saying 'we won't mess with you guys' - but it's also the skills that our officers can offer. They are all trained to bodyguard level and all have first aid training - some are ex-police or ex-prison officers.

"Security needs have changed - it's not all big, broad bald-headed doormen anymore. Door staff have an important job to do and that's to secure that venue, but speaking from past experience, you often get people hanging around outside and need to be moved on professionally. It's more than just a physical aspect that's needed - it's about communication and that duty of care as well if anyone is injured."

He added: "Especially because of Covid and venues coming out of lockdown, not all of them can afford security, or some will only have one door staff but want the extra support, so what we offer is a cheaper alternative to hiring door staff.

"We're in the area and can respond within minutes."

Chris said it was a busy first weekend for his teams - and it seems the service launched just in time, as Priority officers were on hand to assist a policeman in administering first aid to someone who was injured.

"We had such a good response so far," said Chris. "Venue managers were coming out and asking what we were doing and asking for business cards.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Priority Security Group's headquarters at Sandy Lane Industrial Estate in StourportPriority Security Group's headquarters at Sandy Lane Industrial Estate in Stourport

"It was a very busy weekend in town - there was no social distancing going on and there were queues outside the door in some places - but the response we had couldn't have been more positive."

Participating venues will pay a monthly fee to sign up to Priority Security's mobile vehicle response service. The company is investing in a radio link and also offers a GPS panic alarm system from its 24-hour control room at Sandy Lane Industrial Estate.

The response service is also available to retail and residential premises.

Chris added: "We don't want to discredit the police in any way but we know they are stretched and we want them and everyone else to know we'll be providing a level of support to them wherever we can.

"This is going to be a valuable service for a lot of businesses."

For more information, search Priority Security Group on Facebook.