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Sunderland has its first Street Ranger - and here is what they do

James Denny is Sunderland city centre's first Street Ranger
James Denny is Sunderland city centre's first Street Ranger

There's a new face on patrol in Sunderland as the city centre gets its very first Street Ranger.

James Denny has taken on the wide-ranging role as being the eyes and ears on the street and being the go-to person for businesses needing urgent action.

Already James - who is more widely known as Denny - has been making his mark in the new job, with his activities including:

* Getting kegs dumped behind a premises in Park Lane removed by Kegwatch, an organisation which helps the brewing industry by reducing wastage and theft of kegs, casks and gas cylinders.

* Working with the organisers of the Red Sky Ball to find suitable locations across the city centre to install defibrillators bought by the fund-raising event.

Denny, who is based in the city centre and works Monday to Friday, said: "I’m basically the person on the ground, so if anyone has an issue which needs dealing with, I can get out to them quickly.

"A lot of what I do is general work like removing graffiti or picking up litter from private land and I’ve been meeting local businesses as part of getting to know the city and I’ve been getting a very positive response.”

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business operations at Sunderland BID, added: "As soon as Denny started in his role, businesses began getting in touch. We are operating a reported and sorted approach so we can ensure what the businesses are asking for is being delivered.

"There has been a really positive response to him which is fantastic, as the SR1 Street Rangers scheme is something we have been keen to get up and running for a long time and it’s a project we want to expand moving forward.

"Our plan, should we be re-elected, is to appoint more rangers who can help work with our businesses to make Sunderland a nicer place to live and work."