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East Midlands Chamber News

Derbyshire businesses urged to join Business Crime Reduction Partnership to help town centres recover

Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa with members of the Business Crime Reduction Partnership in Chesterfield

 

Businesses across Derbyshire have been urged to work together by joining a scheme that aims to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour as the economic impact of Covid-19 takes hold.

Jackie Roberts, manager of the Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP), which is run by East Midlands Chamber and Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa, believes greater collaboration between employers will be crucial to the recovery of town centres.

About 100 organisations in Chesterfield, Matlock, Bakewell and Staveley are already signed up to the Partnership, sharing information that will help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the towns and surrounding areas.

But it is now aiming to roll out the scheme further afield into the rest of Derbyshire to co-ordinate a more joined-up approach across the county.

Jackie said: “We know from past experience that periods of economic uncertainty can lead to more crime and anti-social behaviour in town and city centres.

“So as we come out of lockdown, the need for crime reduction will become more prevalent.

“Having already proven a success in the towns in which we operate, we now think the time is right to expand the BCRP further into Derbyshire to lead a joined-up approach for reducing crime.”

How the Business Crime Reduction Partnership works in Derbyshire

The BCRP, one of 200 such programmes in the country, is funded by both the Chamber and the Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa.

Its remit to reduce crime in the participating towns fits into an overall objective to make them a safer place to work, visit, socialise and shop.

Members pay a fee, starting at £50 for the first year, and benefits include a GDPR-compliant data-sharing system that facilitates direct reporting to the police without the need to use the time-consuming 101 system.

Intelligence and crime reports can be submitted electronically to the police and other BCRP members, who also have access to app and web-based image galleries of people who have been arrested or are known offenders.

Retail crime figures highlight importance of BCRP

The British Retail Consortium’s 2020 retail crime survey, published in March just before lockdown, found there were 424 violent or abusive incidents towards staff per day nationally, while businesses lost £770m due to theft and £2.2bn resulting from overall crime.

Jackie said: “These figures don’t take into account other town centre issues that affect businesses, such as anti-social behaviour, robbery, begging, drug dealing and addiction.

“Businesses of all types will be affected by the fallout from crime, which means any business should look to reduce crime and aim to keep their town or city safe from criminal activity and its knock-on effects.

“BCRPs don’t just generate benefits for their members, but also contribute to the wider community by helping identify opportunities for early-stage intervention and by working with police to pursue serious or prolific offenders through the courts.

“As the schemes work via an online information-sharing system, the more members there are, the more effective they become. We’d encourage councils and businesses throughout Derbyshire to contact us and discuss how we can all work together to make our streets safer, regenerate footfall and improve the local economy.”

Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said: “The importance of partners working together to make retail areas safer, thereby encouraging footfall and cutting the costs of crime, cannot be overstated.

“I’m very pleased to have been able to support this scheme, which will ultimately benefit shoppers, retail outlets and the hospitality sector. We are all confident the initiative will cut crime, help the police and partners bring offenders to justice, and help to keep our towns and city centres vibrant places to live, visit and work.”

Anyone interested in discussing how to get involved with the Derbyshire Business Crime Reduction Partnership can email jackie.roberts@emc-dnl.co.uk.

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