A private security firm is joining the fight against crime in Canterbury’s hectic night-time streets.
Akon Security will report, record and deter crimes as it patrols under the guise of the City Response Team.
Director Oli Nonis says the idea grew out of the fact he already patrols between the various nightspots where Akon runs door security – from the Bing in Dover Street to the Pound at the Westgate Towers.
They will use radios to communicate with the DistrictWatch, which operates the city council’s CCTV cameras and have bodycam recording equipment which is now worn by police.
Mr Nonis told the Kentish Gazette: “I’m a Canterbury lad and I’m proud of the city and all I feel we’re doing is giving something back.
“I move between the venues and report what happens. Hopefully, we can deter crimes or stop them escalating so that the police needn’t get involved and are free to do more serious things.”
Akon, formed by Mr Nonis and his business partner Avni Krasniqi in 2006, has established itself as a recognised player in the city’s security industry.
It will not be paid for its City Response Team duties.
Last month Wincheap-based Right Security won a contract to run the one-year trial Street Marshal scheme, set up by the Kent and Christ Church universities to ensure students returning home after a night out do not disturb other people.
Mr Nonis says the aim of the City Response Team is to further reduce anti-social behaviour and discourage crime.
He said: “The police are doing the best they can – that’s obvious. But it’s also obvious they are under-resourced. The City Response Team and Street Marshals will aid police as much as possible. We can record incidents on the bodycam which can be useful for evidentiary purposes later.
“As a citizen of Canterbury, I don’t want to see anti-social behaviour. And if I’m out and I see a person at risk, then I will try to help them.
“It’s all about making Canterbury a better, safer place.”
Earlier this month restaurateur Sam Deeson described central Canterbury as a “bomb site” in which criminals and drunks operated without fear of being caught. His complaint came after his Pork & Co takeaway was burgled.
Police insist Canterbury’s problems are no worse than elsewhere and concentrates its resources in areas and at times when they are most needed.