Recognition for town’s crime reduction work

Town centre manager Rob Woods (centre) pictured with the Hastings BID steering group in Hastings town centre.
Town centre manager Rob Woods (centre) pictured with the Hastings BID steering group in Hastings town centre.

The Hastings Area Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP), better known locally as Shopwatch and Barwatch, has been awarded the prestigious Safer Business Accreditation with distinction.

The Safer Business Award is the only nationally recognised standard for BCRPs which shows that they are operating lawfully, in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the National Association of Business Crime Partnership’s codes of practice and advice.

The accreditation required the partnership to produce evidence in relation to partnership management and structure, data protection and data management, key performance indicators and management information.

The auditor was particularly impressed by the examples of good practice which included surveys on anti-social behaviour and the delivery of proof of age training courses. The partnership’s reach was also highlighted, including its Involvement with a wide range of other organisations and its influence with the new Business Improvement District where several new security projects were agreed, including on street security wardens.

The Hastings Area BCPR is the second largest in Sussex after Brighton, with 170 members in five areas of the town. It’s most recent expansion was to Ore, supported by a grant from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

Rob Woods, town centre manager, said: “Both Shopwatch and Barwatch are huge successes. They are the most powerful business-led, crime prevention schemes we have. I can’t think of anything more proactive or community-minded than the combination of CCTV controllers, police and businesses warning each other when known offenders are around and by working together and sharing information over the longer term to prevent future crimes. Controlling a situation rather than just responding to a problem after it has happened has to be the most effective way forward, especially in the light of future police and council budget reductions”

Businesses who join the partnership receive images of offenders, exclusion orders for all the premises in the scheme and a radio which links them to each other, the police and the CCTV control staff.

Members are invited to regular meetings to agree any actions against offenders.

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