Collaboration in Crime Reduction

I am delighted to be asked to speak about tackling Business Crime at the Collaboration in Crime Reduction conference in May. A hugely important topic that has been a subject close to my heart since I was responsible for the installation of a town centre CCTV system way back when.

I recent years, I’ve become more directly involved; seeing through to conclusion the complete redrafting of new National Standards for Business Crime Initiatives, whether they be standalone or delivered through a BID, which led to a commission to write Business Crime & BIDS: A Manifesto for a group of retailers. This in turn has prompted the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS) to look at data sharing national retailer’s data with local initiatives.

The NBCS has just launched a new service for BCIs that allows, for the first time, incidents shared at a national business to BCI level, to be cascaded down to appropriate local partnerships. To find out more about the service click here.

All this is great because, unless there is buy-in at all levels and a real desire to tackle issues collectively, then efforts will be much less effective than might otherwise be. This means that, locally, stakeholders must collaborate, but nationally we need to be clear about what can be achieved and what each members’ roll is.

Take data sharing. One of the unintended consequences of GDPR is that there has been a crisis of confidence with national retailers and their contribution, by reporting local incidents, has diminished greatly, impacting on local effectiveness.

That is why these three things; the Standards, the Manifesto and the new NBCS service hang together so well.

The Manifesto, written for retailers and addressed to BIDs, calls for the development of a specific strategy to deal with business crime at all times of the day and night with clearly defined objectives, outcomes and measures of success. As Tim Edwards, Group Profit Protection Director at JDSports said in the introduction,

BID’s represent an excellent vehicle in which retail business can collaborate to make respective Town Centres pleasant and safe places to both shop and work. However, there is a concern that previously some BID models didn’t focus enough resources on the ‘safety and security’ element.”

The Standards will enable every BCI to demonstrate their effectiveness and the new service from the NBCS will, for the first time, allows those retailers that do not contribute at a local level to “cascade” incidents. By way of example I’ve made up a “case study” to illustrate how that might work. I hope that you will agree this could be a game changer.

Case Study
A major retailer was subject to attempted credit card fraud in one of their stores in a shopping centre. They deterred the offenders, but they got away with the card. Security at the shopping centre used CCTV to identify the vehicle and its number plate that was used.

This can now be shared with BIDs in the region.

One of the BIDs in a nearby town had anticipated this scenario and had gathered together the owners and managers of car parking interests, both public and private, alongside the police, and decided how to deal with such a situation i.e. receiving intelligence about a vehicle and its registration.

The BID uses the DISC system and the NBCS was able to provide this intelligence directly to the BIDs DISC, without the intervention of the local BCI Manager, by way of an Alert. This can happen 24/7. This automatically goes to car park managers, including those responsible for on street parking. In this case they decided that the team in the CCTV control room would be the best way to disseminate to traffic wardens by way of secure Instant Messaging on the DISC App.

One of the car parks has ANPR as it has a large season ticket holder population.

The car was spotted in a surface car park by a patrolling warden checking pay and display tickets and the police were notified.
One of the by products of getting the car park operators together was to address some of the other issues around anti-social behaviour in a coordinated way.

Please drop me a line to consult@martinblackwell.co.uk if you want to know more about the new service or see the link above.

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