Meet Peter and Paul, Retail BID’s Business Support Officers

Hello, we are Peter Ash and Paul Barnett, your Business Support Officers.

As the title suggests we are here to support your businesses. This can be in many ways, and recently the bulk of our time has been spent discouraging anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the area which has a negative impact on visitors and those that work in the area.

We encourage those that are causing the ASB to engage with the relevant groups to find accommodation or assistance with addiction. On a daily basis we will work with West Midlands Police, Colmore BID, Westside BID, Retail Crime Operations, BCC ASB Officers and the Homeless Outreach Support Team.

We also provide a safe and reassuring presence in the area and provide advice and directions to visitors to Birmingham, who may have come from all over the world to visit us.

Peter was a police officer for West Midlands Police for 25 years, working with the Police Engage Team for the last three years, which specifically dealt with rough sleeping, begging and anti-social behaviour. Since leaving the police Peter has worked for Midland Heart and BCC Outreach Team which gives him excellent knowledge of the different types of help available to those encountering difficulties.

Peter loves Spitfires and kittens.

Paul was a Street Warden for Birmingham City Council for ten years, working the night-time economy for nine years and the city centre during the day in the last year. Before this he worked in call centres as a business trainer. This experience helps him deal  with the public on all levels and gives him a great overall knowledge of the street scene in Birmingham city centre.

Paul loves Lego and Dr Who.

It would be fair to say there is rarely a typical day in the city centre. We would normally start with a high visibility patrol of the BID area, often responding to calls from businesses reporting anti-social behaviour near them. We will look to deter ASB but also be a welcoming and smiling presence for those people who work or visit the area. We can also report dumped rubbish, highway defects, graffiti and the like.