NE1 is launching a new Business Crime Reduction Partnership in Newcastle, collaborating with the business community, Northumbria Police, and Newcastle City Council.
Businesses across the city are being invited to join the partnership which will be free for all NE1 levy-paying businesses, and available for companies outside the NE1 postcode area to join for a small annual fee. Delivered through an online platform, and similar to a neighbourhood watch scheme, the partnership will provide access to a members’ forum to record incidents, share information, and raise alerts to help prevent, and reduce crime in the city centre, as well as improving safety for businesses, staff, and visitors.
A survey conducted among NE1 businesses earlier this year found that the majority of respondents do not report minor incidents to the police as they feel the process takes too long and few had confidence that something would be done. Under the new NE1 Business Crime Reduction Partnership, NE1 is encouraging businesses to report incidents of anti-social behaviour or criminal activity via the platform, allowing the partnership to accurately determine the extent of the problem, and work with the police to allocate the resource to tackle the issues.
As well as logging incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour, businesses will be able to review information on offenders operating in the city centre and keep abreast of criminal trends and activity. The platform will alert businesses to the presence of offenders in the city before they go into shops, or leisure venues, and enable businesses to manage the risk appropriately.
Members agree to be bound by data protection rules relating to data sharing, how the information can be used, and access to the platform. A number of prominent North East businesses and national retail brands have already signed up to join the partnership including John Lewis.
Commenting on the new Business Crime Reduction Partnership, Mark Sumner, Operations Manager at NE1 Ltd said:
“It’s important to remember that Newcastle is a safe city, however, we do not have facts and figures on the scale of anti-social behaviour and associated issues that are occurring in the city because businesses aren’t reporting incidents to the Police.
“NE1’s Street Rangers are doing a stellar job helping to keep the streets of Newcastle safe and working with the police to be their eyes and ears on the ground, but they are doing this without concrete data on where the major problems lie, how extensive they are, and what resources are needed to tackle the issues. This new business crime reduction partnership will provide this information and will help to make Newcastle an even safer place as we constantly strive to improve.”
“This is a major step forward in the support we offer our businesses in the city centre, and one that we know will be of huge benefit to our members. By tackling crime and improving safety for visitors and staff, business losses will be prevented, and Newcastle will be a safer, more welcoming, and prosperous environment for everyone.
“Business crime reduction partnerships work well in other parts of the country, and we are confident that it will deliver a positive impact on reducing crime and disorder in Newcastle city centre.”
Lisa Kendal, Deputy Branch Manager from John Lewis Newcastle, explained why they have joined the Business Crime Reduction Partnership.
“We were keen to join the Crime Reduction Partnership to do what we can to cut retail theft and improve safety for our staff and customers. Thankfully, we don’t have a big problem in Newcastle but working together to help minimise the threats and risk makes sense for our business and the wider community. We already work closely with NE1 and their Street Rangers and are familiar with the team, and this new online partnership will help us all to improve the retail environment in the city.”
NE1 has enlisted the help of a national business crime management company, NBCS, to help set up and operate the Business Crime Reduction Partnership. In addition, some of the city’s key business players including Primark, Fenwick, Nexus, Greggs, JD Sport and M&S have all expressed an interest in joining the steering group to help run the partnership and decide on its priorities, working alongside NE1, the Police, and the City Council.
Any businesses keen to register to be part of the NE1 Business Crime Reduction Partnership should contact Mark Sumner, Operations Manager, at email@example.com.
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