UK-PAC, businesses, police and councillors within Bournemouth and Poole are uniting to tackle antisocial behaviour and retail crime, with information sharing and better incident recording set to empower more targeted action.

The new conurbation-wide Business Crime Reduction Partnership ‘Against Business Crime’ has been formed by three of the area’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), with the support of UK-PAC, Dorset Police, David Sidwick (Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner) and the BCP Council.

This unprecedented partnership is the culmination of months of preparation, negotiation, and liaison and sees UK-PAC’s flagship crime reduction model rolled out to all businesses within the BCP area.

It promises to be a ‘game-changer’ in tackling rising levels of theft, verbal and physical abuse and anti-social behaviour – all key issues impacting local businesses which are going significantly underreported due to frustration with a perceived lack of response.

Bournemouth Town Centre BID Chief Operating Officer, Paul Kinvig, said:

“We believe this will be a game-changer for our levy payers and the town centre more generally, because safety and security is by far the biggest issue.”

All BID member businesses, and other businesses who wish to sign up to the scheme, will have access to UK-PAC’s cloud-based crime reporting platform.

Here, incidents and potential threats can be logged, alerting members with timely updates on local crime trends and emerging issues, including specific updates on prolific offenders.

The accurate and real-time data is collated on the UK Partners Against Crime (UK-PAC) incident reporting and management platform, before being translated into useful metrics, including temperature maps – revealing hotspots and high-risk times of day – and insights into the patterns of repeat offenders.

This data will give the police, council and other stakeholders an incisive new tool in their armoury to help them target and tackle crime and anti-social behaviour more effectively.

Fiona McArthur, Head of Bournemouth Coastal BID said:

“We are confident this will produce real data and meaningful intelligence as we go into what we hope will be a busy summer season, helping to ensure that residents, visitors, and those who own and work in our businesses, can feel safe as they enjoy our beautiful destination.”

Jacqui Rock, Poole BID Lead, added:

“Working closely with the Bournemouth-based BIDs and the other key stakeholders in this way is a cutting-edge development that will be crucial in the fight against business crime, ensuring consistent incident reporting data is obtained across our conurbation.”

A clearer picture of the scale and nature of the issues could also help Dorset Police, which remains one of the worst-funded forces in the country, lobby for improved funding.

Additionally, BID member businesses will have access to a ‘Business Crime Liaison Officer’ provided by UK-PAC. The BCLO’s will be on hand to help with the signing up process and offer training. They will also be available to a business if they need to compile a Crime Report for Dorset Police, helping them record the vital evidence it takes to support a successful prosecution down the line.

Head of Public Protection at BCP Council, Sophie Sajic, said:

“We are really pleased to support this new initiative to encourage reporting and pro-active enforcement of issues in our town centres. We will work closely with the BIDs, Dorset Police and businesses to take appropriate action.”

Inspector Ady Thompson, Bournemouth Neighbourhood Inspector at Dorset Police, added:

“We have completed a successful trial during the night-time economy using the crime reporting platform intelligence system and we believe the BCRP will be an amazing opportunity to make a positive difference for the whole town.”

UK-Partners Against Crime Chairman, Gareth Lewis, also said:

“UK-PAC are proud to be working collaboratively on this project. Business crime has a huge negative impact not just on the commercial aspects of a business, but also on the people who work within the business and upon its customers and the community. Our collective aim is to ensure that we target and reduce such crime and the resulting impacts, thereby making our community safer for all.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick added:

“I am delighted that the grants issued through my Business Crime Community Fund have assisted towards the establishment of the Business Crime Reduction Partnership in BCP.

Business crime is not a victimless offence, and since I came to office, I have heard from business owners how serious and damaging incidents of shoplifting can be, especially when staff are abused or attacked.

It is only by working together and sharing intelligence that we can truly tackle the crimes our business communities across Dorset face. Shoplifters prey on our communities and by working together we will bring more of them to justice and make our shops and streets safer.”