Friendly faces to boost town centre as Street Rangers introduced in King's Lynn
Two Street Rangers, whose aim is to help, inform and protect were unveiled to the public this week in Lynn town centre.
Connor Smalls, 20, and David Rayner, 25, will be out on the streets of Lynn seven days a week in their distinctive red uniforms.
They will be creating a “reassuring presence” in the town by reporting anti-social behaviour and greeting visitors with directions and information.
The initiative is being run by Business Improvement District (BID) after researching similar schemes in Norwich, Ipswich and Cambridge.
Darren Taylor, chairman of BID said: “One of the things that came across loud and clear when we were setting up the BID up was a physical presence for the project, an important living embodiment.
“Levy payers can interact with the Rangers on a pretty informal basis.
“The fact that the guys are around seven days a week to report anti-social behaviour and assist people is incredibly important for levy payers.”
Mr Smalls has lived in Lynn all his life and has experience as a special constable.
Meanwhile, Mr Rayner, who is originally from Doncaster, saw the post while working in a cafe.
He believes he can use his past experience of providing hospitality to customers to good effect in his new job.
The pair have been shadowing Rangers in Ipswich and have been communicating with police and other relevant authorities when training for the role.
Mr Rayner said: “I have been learning a lot about the place over the past few days.
“We have had lots of nice people coming up to us and have had no confrontation yet.
“It’s all about bringing people into the town."
Vicky Etheridge, manager of BID, said stab vests were considered for the Rangers.
She said: “When anyone wears a uniform, people like to have a pop.
“Knife crime is not a problem in Lynn but they are prepared to get some stick from people, and we are taking the right measures to keep them safe.
“They will be preventing general anti-social behaviour and the perception that the town is not safe by creating a more reassuring presence alongside the police.
“There is a lot of expectation but they could be key.”
Both Rangers were selected from a choice of “half a dozen” following face-to-face interviews.