Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Saturday, 13 December 2008

Taxi marshals for city partygoers

A reveller who over indulged in Leeds city centre
Marshals will help to get partygoers home safely

Private security guards will patrol Sheffield city centre at weekends throughout December to help keep festive revellers safe.

For the third year in a row, four marshals will help maintain order and deter troublemakers at three locations.

Ranks at Barkers Pool and West Street will be patrolled from 2100 GMT until 0400 GMT on Fridays and Saturdays.

The marshals, who can call police via personal radios, will also be present on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

Councillor Bob McCann, cabinet member for safer, sustainable communities, said: "We need people to think carefully about getting home safely and using licensed taxis from the organised taxi ranks.

"We want people to have a good time when visiting the bars and clubs of Sheffield.

"The weeks before Christmas can be a great opportunity to enjoy what Sheffield has to offer and I know people will be reassured to know they can enjoy a great night out in safety."

The Sheffield Taxi Trade Association is backing the scheme.

Chairman Hafeas Rehman said drivers experienced "an increase in bad customers" over the festive period and the introduction of taxi marshals had "made a great difference to our safety".

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