A LOCAL authority has awarded a new contract to provide security for its two markets and bus station.

The staffing is required for Blackburn’s bus terminal and market and Darwen Market as the existing deal has run out.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has renewed the contract with the current supplier company to provide manned guarding, mobile patrols, key holding and alarm response, reception duties and CCTV monitoring services for a period of up to four years.

Authorising the new deal Martin Kelly, the borough’s strategic director of place, said in a report: “The security officers in particular are a valuable asset to the effective delivery of the service operationally.

“The service requirements at all three sites is for a visible security officer patrol and presence on foot during operating hours to give both customers, market traders and bus terminal staff the necessary re-assurance, security and loss prevention needed to combat and mitigate a number of frequent issues at the sites with regard to assaults, thefts, anti-social behaviour, drug dealing, substance misuse, rough sleepers, begging, mental health issues and first aid requirements as part of wider town centre issues.

“Current expenditure for the 12-month period from February 2020 to March 2021 inclusive being £192,253.

“This had increased by approximately £53,000 from the previous 12-month period due to additional hours required as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”