RANGERS have begun patrolling Huntingdon town centre as the first project of business initiative BID Huntingdon.

Dressed in red, the part-time rangers will patrol the town centre within the ring road, supporting businesses and keeping the town clean and safe for visitors.

BID is hoping the rangers will be the eyes and ears of the company, working closely with businesses, police and local authorities.

These rangers are the first of their type in Cambridgeshire, despite being used in other parts of the country for more than seven years.

BID manager, Katy Sismore, said: "We do not want the rangers to be passive, they are going to be pro-active and help people in the community.

"We've got an enthusiastic team of Rangers with outgoing personalities and enthusiasm."

Some of the specific roles of the rangers include providing first aid, reporting crime and distributing leaflets.

Each will carry a two-way radio that allows them to communicate with police, CCTV operators and businesses in the area.

Mrs Sismore said: "The rangers have been made aware of all of the regular offenders in the town centre.

"There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes support for this project to ensure the rangers are introduced to the existing town team and have access to Huntingdon town knowledge."

While an element of their role may be to ask cyclists to dismount, the rangers insist their presence is more about serving and helping the community than preventing wrong doing.

The first ranger on shift, 47-year-old Wendy, said: "I decided to become a ranger because I love the contact with people and helping to make sure the area is safe and easy for people to shop in."

The rangers trained for over a month before starting the job, including spending time with town rangers in Rugby.

At least one ranger will be on duty between the hours of 8.30am-5.30pm from Monday to Saturday.