Business wardens are being praised after one knocked down a toilet door and saved a man’s life in Eastbourne last month.
The wardens have only been in place since the autumn but the incident at the Arndale Centre highlights their benefits according to police.
Eastbourne business wardens Rob Braisby and Steve Fulbrook were called to assist an unconscious man in the toilets of the shopping centre on Tuesday, February 23.
They broke down the door to get to the man and performed life-saving CPR until an ambulance arrived.
Police said another incident in Littlehampton, West Sussex, where the wardens helped track down CCTV-footage pivotal to a stabbing investigation, also showed how important they have become.
Wardens George Greer and Katie Mariner attended a shop following an incident of anti-social behaviour and, by working closely with police colleagues, they helped find the evidence crucial to the investigation.
“These incidents show the importance of partnership working in protecting our communities and pursuing criminals,” Superintendent Warren Franklin said.
“Thanks to the quick thinking and integrity of those involved, we have been able to ensure a serious incident didn’t end in tragedy and secure vital evidence.”
Business wardens are provided as part of a partnership project between Sussex Police, The Southern Cooperative and SWL Security Services and are supported by the Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne and the Home Office.
They work collaboratively with local police, Business Crime Reduction Partnerships and businesses to help detect crimes against the retail community and business sector.
They are able to provide crime prevention advice, take reports of crime, carry out and complete crime reporting on behalf of the police and submit intelligence and crime reports electronically to the police.
SWL’s general manager Peter Fisher said: “As the service partner for this project it’s fantastic to see positive results for both the community and for individuals.
“The Sussex business wardens as a whole can be proud of the difference their contribution is making to the local community and the retail sector.
“SWL Security believe that volume business crime can only truly be reduced by working as part of the extended police family.
“Our aim is to deliver a service with true benefits, to assist the business communities and make Sussex itself a safer and more prosperous place for both business and consumers alike.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, who supports the initiative, said: “A life saved and potentially vital evidence of a serious crime obtained.
“These are two clear examples of how business wardens are making a real difference.
“The employment that business creates and its contribution to a strong local economy is the lifeblood of Sussex communities.
“That is why it is vital that local organisations and the police continue to work together to reduce business crime and help create a safe and secure county in which to live and work.”
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