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Bristol enforcement agency puts staff though riot training

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Written by: Bristol Post | Posted 06 September 2017 12:23

Bristol enforcement agency puts staff though riot training

THE owner of a Bristol-based enforcement agency has put his staff through public order riot training following increased levels of violent protest at engagements his business is called to.

Steve Wood is managing director of Able Investigations & Enforcement Solutions, which is based in St Anne’s, and provides bailiff services for public and private landowners nationwide.

He said Government cutbacks to police numbers and also increasing levels of violence among protesters, squatters, travellers and trespassers means his staff are having to learn new skills.

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Mr Wood’s staff will now be trained in Level 2 Public Order and Riot Control, with refresher courses carried out every six months.
Mr Wood, who is also West and Wales Chairman of the Certificated Enforcement Agents Association (CEAA), said: “Our staff’s safety is paramount to us and we live in an increasingly violent world, with the growing anarchist movement around the country aiming to start violence.

“Over the past few years we have witnessed the growing boldness of those who simply want to riot or cause as much damage as possible.

“These people believe that enforcement officers, who are in fact authorised by Common Law or by the High Court to undertake their duties, are little more than private citizens with no powers.

“Combined with the fact that our police services are becoming increasingly stretched and are often unable to provide the support we require – in terms of speed of response and numbers of personnel – I have decided to build a team which is not only fully trained in enforcement but also specially trained to deal with Level 2 Public Order offences.”

Mr Wood said the move would provide clients with further reassurance that significant intrusions by protesters did not need to escalate into long-term and damaging incidents.

He said: “If you had a situation where you had a large protest on a site where there is major road project, gas and oil, fracking, or just a large influx of travellers, it will be highly advantageous to have a specially-trained firm of enforcement officers which is also mindful of the client’s reputation and can work to minimise adverse publicity.

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“When dealing with larger assignments, proper planning and capability on our part ensures a safe and properly run eviction or protest. If we can go to the police on our clients’ behalf and tell them our team is capable of dealing with the situation, then no-one needs to have any concerns that we will be overly heavy-handed.”

Able Investigations’ client base includes several local authorities in the South West and across the UK. The company provides a rapid-response service for evictions of travellers and protesters, utilising both Common Law and the Criminal Justice Act.
It has also won a contract with a major national retailer to manage evictions at car parks at more than 200 sites across the country

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