BRAND new street rangers will soon be out and about in York, as part of a business plan to fight drink-fuelled rowdiness and clean up the city.

The new rangers are part of the BID - Business Improvement District - which sees businesses in the city centre pay extra on their rates to fund improvements around their neighbourhoods, and hopefully boost their trade.

According to Andrew Lowson, executive director of York BID, the rangers will be there to prevent antisocial behaviour, to be a friendly and welcoming face for visitors, and to act as the “eyes and ears” of the BID helping to spot areas that might need cleaning up.

He said: “Following the success of other Ranger programmes in the UK, York BID has introduced a similar plan that we believe will positively impact the city’s businesses, locals and visitors alike.

“We want to specifically identify what needs improvement and in the long term, work with businesses and respond accordingly.”

The rangers, who will come from Eboracum Security, will be easy to spot in highly visible uniforms and will be positioned throughout the BID area, which includes the city centre streets, Fossgate, Gillygate, Walmgate and Micklegate.

The will take a friendly approach to deterring anti-social behaviour and act as a reassuring presence to curtail potential crime, but they could be given extra powers by the police at a later date, Mr Lowson added.

Their duties will also include helping visitors find their way around the city and to the lesser known streets where some of York’s independent businesses trade.

Marc Allison, owner of the Artful Dodger on Micklegate, said: “As a landlord, I see that the pubs have really stepped up to the mark in order to prevent antisocial behaviour, however our authority stops at our door.

“It will be very welcome to have the rangers to provide a visible deterrent to help stop the behaviour on the streets that we do not allow in our venues.”

This programme follows the BID’s Greeters programme launched in August, but the rangers will be on duty throughout the year working during the day on a weekday and from midday until the early hours on Fridays and Saturdays.