TAXI marshals will help keep revellers safe in the town centre over Christmas.

inSwindon BID has employed them to work on Saturday evenings from 11pm to 4am and ensure people get home safely.

CEO Di Powell said: "Our street team ambassadors play an integral role in supporting our businesses during the day, but we want to ensure we’re also supporting and doing our bit for businesses who operate in the evenings.

"We have more than 30 businesses who operate in the night-time economy, making Swindon a vibrant destination in the evenings but we’re wanting to ensure it’s a safe destination for everyone to enjoy.

"Taxi marshals can assist in supporting the venues with people leaving their premises in an orderly fashion, and by doing so, reduce the impact of noise and other anti-social behaviour to residents living nearby whilst ensuring people get home safely."

They work with police and patrol the area from John Street in fluorescent jackets.

The taxi marshals ensure visitors can find a licensed taxi, are fit to travel and can pay taxi fare. They give priority service to vulnerable people and liaise with the police to help crack down on anti-social behaviour.

PC Paul Bezzant,of the Swindon South Community Policing Team said: “Crime and anti-social behaviour in Swindon is relatively low and that is helped by our work with partners and schemes like this one.

"It's our commitment to keep the town a safe and pleasant place to go out and socialise within.

"Although it is everyone’s personal responsibility to keep themselves safe by being mindful where they are and who they are with, the Taxi Marshal scheme gives that additional level of reassurance when someone is wanting a cab – whether they are alone or in a group - as well as helping to reduce anti-social behaviour in the town.”

Justin Britchford, Manager at MECA and Chair of PubWatch said: “Since the role of the Taxi Marshal has come into place, we’ve seen a positive impact on the level of anti-social behaviour in the town.

"Funding this role demonstrates how inSwindon BID is committed to supporting the night-time economy and promoting Swindon town centre as a safe and vibrant place to go at night.

"The marshals are able to reassure people that they will be able to find a licensed taxi in a controlled queue, assisting in preventing anti-social behaviour, improving the safety of vulnerable persons and dealing with confrontational situations.”