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Safer Somerset Business Partnership

Fighting Crime with a Business Partnership

The Facts

The accepted estimate is that between forty to sixty per cent of all crime affecting business (more specifically retail business) goes unreported.

Business routinely gather information about losses and loss prevention incidents, they often detain offenders, record their details (including taking a picture if CCTV hasn't recorded one) for a civil prosecution or claim and then serve the offender with a banning order.

This means that businesses are storing intelligence and information. An offender may be known to an entire high street yet only have been reported to the Police once. This means that the Police treat them as a low risk offender if they are detained and consequently any treatment will be comparatively mild and runs the risk of alienating or souring the relationship between Police and Businesses.

Safer Somerset Business Partnership Overview

Safer Somerset Business Partnership (SSBP) is a Council led crime reduction partnership that will help you combat crime and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in your community. All members will be exposed to crime and ASB and have either been a victim of crime or are likely to be a victim of crime. With the endorsement of Avon and Somerset Constabulary the Local Authority is now taking positive action and have formed the Safer Somerset Business Partnership (SSBP).

SSBP will provide Public area CCTV, Radio Link and the DISC database, in order to share intelligence, manage banning schemes efficiently, enhance security awareness, increase engagement levels, communicate with members and provide a link to Police and other DISC users. At the same time reducing administration tasks and costs. This will deter and prevent crimes like shoplifting, theft, violence and disorder to create safer shopping and business environments for both the day and night-time economies.

Public area CCTV can act as an early warning system that identifies crimes being committed or prepared. It can serve to identify known offenders, record unknown perpetrators and record suspicious incidents, details of which can be communicated to members using the Radio Link and Disc System.

The Radio Link is used to connect Sedgemoor District Council CCTV, Police and local business in order to combat crime and disorder. It is a network of businesses from each Town centre and outlying areas, all linked by radio to each other, Police and CCTV operators. The network enables offenders or suspected offenders to be quickly identified and tracked before they become a problem. It is a proactive tool which is carried and monitored by Police and PCSOs and is also installed in the CCTV room at Sedgemoor District Council which covers most of Somerset.

Radio link exists to report on what is happening, has just happened or what someone believes is about to happen. This is a very useful tool but does not provide any information for long term information and intelligence gathering to assist in effective target hardening and joint offender management. The radio simply serves to assist in real time sharing of information on a day to day operational manner; it is the intelligence behind it that is the essential to the SSBP.

DISC (Database and Intranet for Safer Communities) Intelligence sharing platform offers businesses the opportunity to report on incidents, discuss known offenders, be aware and spot developing crime trends and to deal pro-actively with issues such as stock loss and anti-social behaviour. Members will have the opportunity to learn at first hand some of the key issues affecting their community as well as to take an active role in reducing crime levels. DISC produces a weekly newsletter for all members and has a facility to Alert all members of a imminent problem.

In addition, the SSBP DISC secure dedicated website serves as a vital tool for distributing information quickly and simply across the partnership area to members, providing them with up-to-date information on known offenders, who's on the banned lists, the latest scams, specific offences, county lines, terrorism, what's happening locally and of course Alerts!

By becoming a member of DISC and subsequently the SSBP the platform serves to gather and hold this information for businesses in a data protected secure environment. By collating it in one place they can establish trends and patterns as well as compiling lists of offenders before passing back relevant information in a data protected compliant manner to all relevant members therefore allowing the member businesses to be more aware. Data is usually shared through the means of documents that are retained for a period before being collected then destroyed and through regular briefings and meetings.

All this is overseen by a dedicated local coordinator usually with training in relevant matters and able to advise businesses on best practice and to ensure compliance with data protection laws and to act as an advocate for the members in meetings with police and other bodies as well as managing the generated intelligence.

Membership allows access to the DISC database information. The DISC database holds information on local offences from the most serious, to petty shoplifting and antisocial behaviour and includes photographs and details of offenders. The information is constantly being updated and the source of which is from SSBP members. Crime and the fear of crime can impact on the profitability of your business. Joining a partnership will help you to reduce shoplifting and anti-social behaviour as well as theft from your customers. The added benefit is that it will empower you, your employees and your partners, helping to educate and instil greater peace of mind for all. By being in constant touch with other businesses - sharing information, intelligence and ideas - you'll be far better protected

The SSBP has two main operational arms, covering key industry sectors:

  • BusinessWatch
  • PubWatch

Through its BusinessWatch and PubWatch schemes, the SSBP also operates two exclusion schemes, which enable banning orders to be issued against persistent offenders, such as shoplifters and those behaving inappropriately in the community.

Supplementing all of this work, we also provide a local Business crime coordinator who will hold regular briefings and meetings highlighting crime prevention advice for businesses in conjunction with the Police to provide employees with information, advice and guidance they need to help prevent crime in the workplace.

  • DISC offender management database access including an on the go App (accessible 24hrs/day, 365 days/year, perfect for those who work long or strange hours). Best used pro-actively and re-actively
  • Radio link (recorded for training and evidence gathering) - Ideal to communicate and report incidents and intel, the moment it happens, to partners and other members
  • Alerts - Keeping up to date with what's going on, the moment it happens, with our alert service either through your computer, tablet, mobile or the App
  • Weekly Newsletter - Keep up to date with who's who and what's what (offenders and incidents) - Plus all the latest local and national news, updates (and unknown offenders)
  • Local Coordinator - There will be a dedicated coordinator available to help you out, either at the end of a phone, briefing, site visit, problem solving or training
  • Regular briefings - Ideal to build relationships with other members in your area and share info and intel on offenders MO's with other members and partners

That's why joining a SSBP is the best way to reduce the impact of crime, reduce your shrinkage, improve your profits and increase your footfall.