Exeter's Princesshay security staff given 'fines' power

Young person drinking alcohol
Image caption Princesshay security staff will be able to confiscate alcohol and cigarettes from young people

Security staff at a Devon shopping centre are to be given some limited police powers to help deal with anti-social behaviour.

Five staff from Princesshay in Exeter are being trained by Devon and Cornwall Police as part of its Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS).

From October, the security staff will be able to confiscate alcohol and issue fixed penalties.

The "minor powers" will not include detaining or arresting people.

Police said the scheme allowed the force to "accredit certain minor police powers" to staff or organisations who were committed to working with communities and police in tackling crime and disorder.

Insp Paul Morgan said CSAS has been used successfully in other shopping centres and would help "forge strong and effective working relationships" between police and the business community.

Once trained and accredited, the security staff will also be able to deal with underage smoking, dog fouling, littering, graffiti, or anyone "likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress".

Mike Kerswell, the shopping centre's security manager, said the police training would help his team keep Princesshay as safe as possible.

"We are often first on the scene of a wide variety of incidents and this current training will help us assist the police in a mutually beneficial way," he said.

CSAS is a national voluntary scheme overseen by the Home Office under which chief constables can choose to accredit people working in roles which contribute to "maintaining and improving community safety", including neighbourhood wardens, hospital security guards, park wardens, shopping centre security staff and train guards.

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