Council supports city crime fighting partnership
Published: 24 September 2021
Derby City Council is supporting an effort by the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and the Derbyshire Business Crime Reduction Partnership (DBCRP) to make it easier for businesses to work together to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
The partnership with the DBCRP follows hot on the heels of another initiative launched earlier this year by Cathedral Quarter BID and Derby City Council. This saw businesses able to apply for funding contributions and equipment to help make their premises more secure. It is hoped a second round of applications will be opened later this year.
As part of the DBCRP offer businesses in the BID areas will have free access to the Disc system, which is run by East Midlands Chamber, from Friday 1 October 2021 when the scheme goes live.
Subscription to the system usually costs £100 a year but businesses who pay the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter BID levies will have free access for the first 12 months thanks, in part, to a grant from the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
This will enable them to use a GDPR-compliant platform to share intelligence with neighbouring businesses (such as shop lifters operating in the area); quickly report incidents to Derbyshire police via the app; view offender photo galleries and receive crime alerts and newsletters.
Martin Langsdale, chair of the Cathedral Quarter and Helen Wathall, chair of St Peters Quarter said:
Working with partners to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour is a key part of both BID Business Plans. Enabling businesses to easily share information and report issues to the relevant authorities in a secure manner will be highly beneficial.
This platform will help strengthen the link between businesses and the police, which in turn will help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in our city centre to encourage more people to visit and give local businesses the boost they need.
We are delighted to offer this scheme for free to levy-paying businesses in order to help make them more resilient – a key theme during the post-Covid economic recovery.
Derbyshire BCRP is a joint project funded by the East Midlands Chamber and the Derbyshire Police Crime Commissioner’s office. It is one of several hundred national schemes and is currently running in a number of Derbyshire towns. The scheme is delivered in partnership with the police, local councils, community safety and support services to help those offenders with complex needs.
Jackie Roberts, BCRP manager at the Chamber, said:
Businesses in town and city centres have struggled during the pandemic and crime would only make this worse, so it’s important to have a safe city centre to attract people back after lockdown.
The Disc portal is an integral part of crime reduction strategies as it makes it so much easier for businesses to share intelligence about incidents and offender images between members, police, community safety officers and other partners such as the BCRP team.
We’ve had a lot of reports during lockdown because police resources have been really stretched due to Covid, so the BCRP fills the gap where police can’t deal with petty crime.
Councils and regeneration teams are placing crime reduction high on the agenda in order to bring back footfall into their towns and cities.
It also removes barriers to reporting crime as the DISC system automatically notifies the police when an incident is logged, while police are able to input feedback so businesses can follow what happens to offenders.
The more businesses that are involved in the BCRP scheme and sharing information, the stronger it will be – and the better the area will be as a result.
Cllr Smale Cabinet Member for Place and Community Development said:
Derby City Council fully supports the collaboration between the BID’s and the DBCRP. This will help co-ordinate and aid partners in the effort to tackle the low-level criminality and anti-social behaviour committed by a small but highly problematic group of individuals. We are also delighted to have worked closely with the BID to assist businesses in better securing their premises and to help prevent them becoming a victim of crime.
The British Retail Consortium’s 2021 Retail Crime Survey found there were 455 violent or abusive incidents towards staff per day nationally in 2019/20 – up 7% from the previous year.
The total cost of crime has also risen from £700m in 2016/17 to £1.3bn in 2019/20 – with customer theft the most significant, costing companies £935m – while the cost to retailers of crime and crime prevention was £2.5bn last year, an increase of 14% on the previous 12-month period.