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Warden Service

Our Wardens patrol the area 12 hours a day Monday to Saturday, 6 hours a day on Sundays. Shifts may change at short notice due to operational needs.
Tom Harris
Operations Manager
Phil Mann
Warden Team Leader

The Warden service is provided for Better Bankside in partnership with Southwark Council’s Regulatory Services and builds on the Council’s expertise of providing a community warden service in Southwark over the last 14 years.

The warden team's four main functions are to:

  • Provide reassurance to people working, living and visiting Bankside.
  • Help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the BID.
  • Look after and protect the environment of the BID.
  • Meet and greet visitors to the BID.

The Wardens can be contacted as follows: 

  • Better Bankside Wardens Team Mobile 07725 625954
  • Southwark Council’s Warden Admin Office 020 7525 5846 (Mon - Fri 10am - 4pm)
  • Better Bankside's office 020 7928 3998 - ask for Tom Harris, Operations Manager or email 
  • Via our Contact Us page

The team consists of a Team Leader, Philip Mann, and seven Wardens, one of whom is in a trainee post. The Better Bankside Wardens are all first aid trained and have London Ambassador accreditation.This team has been accredited by the Borough Commander, Southwark Police, under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS). This gives the Wardens limited powers, to combat crimes such as:

  • Cycling on a footpath
  • Begging
  • Graffiti
  • Fly posting
  • Selling alcohol to under 18s
  • Selling alcohol to someone who is drunk
  • Dog fouling
  • Littering
  • Stop and direct traffic

Better Bankside wardens also have the power to demand:

  • Name and address of people who have committed antisocial behaviour
  • The surrender of alcohol from persons acting in an antisocial manner in a designated place
  • The surrender of alcohol from under 18s
  • The surrender of tobacco products from under 16s


Wardens also help tackle issues such as:

Rough sleeping

Rough sleeping is a term used to describe the practice of individuals, either through choice or by force of circumstance, to sleep overnight in public spaces. Rough sleeping does occur in Bankside but is limited to a small population of regular sleepers known to Better Bankside and the Council. Rough sleeping creates a feeling of insecurity as well as pity and compassion. Each day Better Bankside Wardens visit places that are known to be haunts for rough sleepers, usually along the riverside, around Clink Street and along Montague Close. They will always speak to the individual, make some assessment of well being and if capable ask them to move on. They will always note personal details and pass these on to the Council's Street Population Outreach Team or a voluntary agency. The Wardens will call for assistance for those in need of medical attention or for police support in those cases where there are threats of violence.

Street drinking

The term street drinking is used to refer to individuals who persistently drink on the streets, usually in groups, consuming alcohol purchased from places like off-licences and supermarkets. Such drinking is associated with offensive and abusive behaviour, disturbance to neighbours and surrounding businesses and littering and fouling of public and private space. Better Bankside's Wardens deal with street drinkers on a daily basis.

Illegal trading

Illegal trading describes individuals, groups of individuals or businesses who trade in public places without a licence and other consent from the local authority. Illegal trading includes the erection of signs or stalls for the sale of goods along the public highway. 'Fly traders' or people selling goods on the streets without a licence create obstructions for pedestrians and are also unfair competition to legitimate traders and businesses. If caught illegal traders risk prosecution, a fine of £1,000 and loss of all their goods. In the BID illegal trading is mainly, but not exclusively, confined to the spaces along the riverside, between Blackfriars Bridge and Southwark Bridge and include peanut vendors, hot dog sellers and ice cream vans as well as those who sell other artifacts, such bird whistles, and those running gambling scams. Better Bankside Wardens will always approach an illegal trader and ask them to stop trading and to move on and will report each incident to the Council's Enforcement Team and to the police if the illegal trading persists despite warnings.

Created Nov 18 2016