THE city is one of just 50 in the UK to have been given the status which means it has excellent night-time safety.

Purple Flag status can be likened to the Blue Flag Award which is given to safe beaches.

A number of events have been planned from Saturday for Purple Flag Week, which aim to raise awareness of what the status means to both businesses and the city.

According to Kevin Welch, the owner of Zoo and Yoyo bars, it is important to remember that the late-night economy is the driving force behind around about 1,000 jobs.

It is a tight-knit operation which sees security staff fromall the local bars and clubs working in unison to keep the city safe.

Brendon Jeynes, the head of security at The Chapel nightclub, said: “We don’t have a us and them mentality when it comes to keeping the streets safe, we work with all the bars and the police to make sure everybody has a good night.”

The Journal spent time out on the streets with the security staff on a night that is dubbed ‘millionaires’ Thursday.

Traditionally, the first Thursday after pay day sees many of the local army regiments descend on the city centre for a night of partying.

On the Thursday we went into Salisbury city centre it remained fairly quiet, but it was reassuring to see the large number of military police that were out in force.

Some officers speculated that it was their large presence which had persuaded the soldiers to stay in their garrisons.

Despite having Purple Flag status, there is still work that can be done to improve safety in the city’s night time economy and recent police figures showed a rise in violent crime although this included domestic violence.

The police are working to tackle the problem and Mr Welch blames supermarkets for allowing people to ‘preload’ on cheap alcohol.

He said: “I’ve seen people stagger around in the supermarket and still being served alcohol, we in the bars would never be allowed to serve alcohol to somebody in that state.”

Another improvement that could be made, according to security staff, is to allow late-night coaches to run from the city centre which would allow soldiers to get back to their garrison safely and help alleviate some pressure on the taxi companies.

But for many party revellers the most popular people on any night out are the street pastors, volunteers who hand out sweets and flip-flops and are linked into the radio system so can respond to any problem and help stranded people get home.

During Purple Flag Week daily events and competitions will take place and purple bunting will adorn the Market Place.

One of the events taking place will be Foodie Friday on October 3 from 11am to 7pm which is offering live music, food and drink from across the south west.

For more information on what is happening in the city during the week visit