Bristol Security guards have been manning The Bearpit 24-hours a day since it was put on lockdown by council. Bristol City Council closed the are to the public on June 19 when it took action to evict squatters who had been living in the former Bearritos bus, abandoned storage units and shipping containers. The authority said it could no longer ignore “escalating” public safety fears after a man was left with a facial injury in an attack on June 18.
Fences were installed around The Bearpit and a team of Bristol security guards from On Site Security were brought in by the council to patrol the area 24 hours a day.
Mo Hussein, Mo Mohamud and Abdi Hassan finished their final shift at The Bearpit this morning (Friday) before it reopened to the public.
The trio have been working as security at the site since the police and the council moved in to evict squatters and close it off to the public in June.
They have been on the front-line preventing people from trying to enter the site and also fielding questions from passers-by about why the area had been fenced off.
For Mo Hussein – know fondly as Big Mo – there was an expectation of hostility from the public, but he said the racial abuse he and his team received has been “shocking”.
Speaking to Bristol Live he said: “I’ve been doing this job 20 years and I have never experienced racial abuse like I have while working at The Bearpit site over the last six weeks.
“It’s been absolutely shocking if I’m honest. But you know that people are just trying to get a reaction out of you and you just have to smile back and not let it bother you.”
Mr Hussein said about 85 per cent of people that approached the fencing were abusive or aggressive with the security, but there were also people came up to the team to thank them and on occasion even offer them something to drink.
But despite some of the treatment they have experienced from members of the public, the guys have said how nice it has been to watch the transformation of the area over the last month.