Britain’s recent, and hopefully short-lived, spate of disorder hit town- and city-centre businesses hard. Now they’re fighting back through crime reduction partnerships.
While inner-city retailers clean up after the mayhem, some business crime reduction partnerships are helping police to identify CCTV images of offenders, and to impose their own justice on those convicted of offences associated with the riots.
Manchester Business Crime Reduction Partnership, run by CityCo, the city centre management company, has announced that its members will ban those who have been successfully prosecuted for offences committed on the night of 9/10 August. Each case will be considered on its merits but the mugshots of those who will be banned will be distributed through the Partnership and displayed on a special gallery downloadable from the Partnership’s secure intranet.
Croydon BCRP, run as part of the local Business Improvement District, has distributed dozens of excellent quality CCTV images to its members, again through the Partnership’s secure intranet, requesting information and identification. Police say they are delighted with the level of response and the quality of intelligence they are receiving back from members of the Partnership.
Meanwhile, in Woolwich, CCTV images have been displayed on the giant TV screen which is a centre piece of the renovated market square area of town. Response from the public and the local business community was described by one police officer as ‘fantastic. Better than we could have hoped’.
The growing use of online information systems which enable Partnerships to communicate more effectively and more frequently with members and allow members to more easily and efficiently make online incident reports, is playing an important part in post-riot intelligence gathering.
According to Dave Platten, a director of Littoralis Limited the company behind the leading partnership-based information sharing system, BCRP Intranet, systems like his are coming into their own. “More and more we are seeing Partnerships playing an ever more important role in local crime reduction. The riots have shown just how important local partnerships are – not only in representing an important means of communication from the police to the local business community, but also, and increasingly, as an invaluable source of local intelligence on crime and criminals.”