‘Against Business Crime Partnership’ makes an impact

by | May 1, 2024 | News

More than 80 Bournemouth Town Centre BID levy payers across the town centre have joined the new Against Business Crime Partnership since its launch, working together to tackle antisocial behaviour and shoplifting and retail crime.

Led by the Town Centre BID, this partnership of local businesses, police and the council, was established in response to rising levels of theft, verbal and physical abuse and anti-social behaviour, and provides a platform for information sharing and incident recording to help empower more targeted police and local authority action.

Across the Bournemouth Town Centre BID area more than 30 incidents have been reported in the first two months – almost half of which are being investigated and handed over to police, or already have been so.

The Against Business Crime Partnership has seen a rapid take up from town centre businesses. Bournemouth Town Centre BID Chief Operating Officer, Paul Kinvig, said:

“We are delighted that 82 retail, office, leisure and hospitality daytime businesses across the Town Centre BID area have signed up over the first few weeks alone, demonstrating enthusiasm for proactive action to tackle this growing problem.

“The rise in retail crime is a profoundly worrying UK-wide issue, as reflected by new legislation making assaulting a retail worker a specific criminal office.

“With the national response to this issue stepping up, we are proud to have taken the bull by the horns locally; by joining in partnership and taking a tough collective stance, for the benefit of businesses, residents and visitors alike.”

A key part of the partnership is a cloud-based crime reporting platform where incidents and potential threats can be logged, alerting members with timely updates on local crime trends and emerging issues, including specific updates on more prolific repeat offenders.

Since the launch last month, some 228 end-users across 82 venues have been set up and inducted in the Bournemouth town centre area. This ever-growing cohort are now actively sharing information, with 31 new incidents reported over the first two months – 10 in March and 21 in April, with four investigated and handed over to police, and a further ten in the process of being so.

Adds Paul:

“While it is still early days, the information we’ve received already is showing a consistent problem of low-level offences which might not have come before police previously, but which now, I’m pleased to say, are being worked on.

“By working together, we can assist in improving safety and security for our retailers, their staff, and the wider community – the number one issue for our businesses.

“We would urge more businesses to join: the more members, the better the data, and the more effective a weapon this system will be in helping the police, council and other stakeholders tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. Our Business Crime Liaison Officer Jackie Arnold would welcome the opportunity to chat.”

The Against Business Crime Partnership is led by the three Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) – Bournemouth Town Centre BID, the Bournemouth Coastal BID and Poole BID – alongside BCP Council, Dorset Police and with the support of the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioners Office.

Membership is open to all businesses across the conurbation, and all BID member businesses can sign up for free.

Data gathered by the reporting system will be collated by UK Partners Against Crime (UK-PAC) incident reporting and management platform, before being translated into useful metrics, including temperature maps – revealing hotspots and high-risk times of day – and insights into the patterns of repeat offenders.

Additionally, BID member businesses will have access to a ‘Business Crime Liaison Officer’ (BCLO) who will be on hand to help with the signing up process and offer training. They will also be available to a business if they need to compile a Crime Report for Dorset Police, helping them record the vital evidence it takes to support a successful prosecution down the line.

Businesses can sign up to the Against Business Crime Partnership here: www.againstbusinesscrime.co.uk.