SBD News

Canterbury District Watch achieves National Standards Accreditation for its work to reduce crime and keep communities safe

Canterbury District Watch, a Business Crime Reduction Partnership which covers Canterbury, Herne Bay and Whitstable and surrounding communities to reduce crime and disorder, has achieved its National Standards Accreditation from Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a police-owned organisation that works alongside the Police Service to reduce crime and build safer communities.

The District Watch has 125 member businesses covering both the day and night-time economies including retail outlets, restaurants, cafes, licensed premises and many other organisations.

As a non-profit making organisation, Canterbury District Watch reinvests its income from members and grants into the scheme, which is directed by a non-salaried Board of Directors, drawn from its membership.

The scheme works closely with Kent Police, Canterbury City Council and Canterbury BID and seeks to provide a safe and non-threatening environment for local shoppers, visitors and businesses.

Members are connected via a network of radios to other businesses, the police and the Canterbury City Council CCTV control centre. Incidents of crime, suspicious behaviour and known offenders operating in the area are shared amongst members after being uploaded into the password-protected intelligence database and members-only area of its website.

The gathering of intelligence and evidence can lead to offenders being issued with an Exclusion Notice, which ban individuals from specific locations for designated periods or prosecution through the Courts.

As well as providing members with increased confidence that offenders face consequences for their actions and being brought to Justice, they also benefit from reduced stock loss, speedier recovery of stolen goods and increased member and customer confidence around crime reduction and community safety. Photo below shows Catherine Penny, Service & Support Officer, with John Vesty, Whitefriars Shopping Centre Security Manager, Canterbury.

Accreditation presentation cropped 50

Recent initiatives run by District Watch include:

- two conflict management training events for 93 members, including retail assistants, bar staff and street pastors to understand the triggers that cause confrontation and techniques for de-escalation

- a community safety event in partnership with Kent Police, Kent County Council and Canterbury City Community Safety Unit for shoppers and visitors who received security advice leaflets, purse bells to provide an audio warning against theft and road safety reflective badges to attach to a child’s coat or bag during darker evenings

- a counter terrorism interactive workshop for members and wider business community facilitated by the South East Counter Terrorism Unit covering how to respond to a terrorist attack, key information required by emergency services and how to identify hostile reconnaissance.

Police CPI is the accreditation body for Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs). A police-owned organisation, Police CPI works on behalf of the Police Service throughout the UK to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction services.

The BCRP accreditation process is based on a set of standards owned by the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) and include good management practices and procedures. It includes having robust information for members and partner organisations that is up to date as well as making it easily accessible 24/7. For some BCRPs, the standards will include the use of CCTV and radio links with members.

The aim is to recognise good practice and professionalism to ensure BCRPs are functioning in an ethical manner and within the law, specifically checks to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.

The BCRP assessment was carried out by David Wilson, Executive Board Member of the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships.

Canterbury has been awarded a coveted Purple Flag for its ongoing work to make the city a pleasant and safe environment in which to meet and socialise – with Canterbury District Watch playing its part by assisting by reducing crime and disorder.

Canterbury District Watch:
Email:
Web: www.canterburydistrictwatch.co.uk

About BCRPs
BCRPs are subscription-based, business-led, non-profit making action groups, often associated with Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), working with police forces and local authorities to gather intelligence and share information to tackle crime and disorder affecting businesses from multi-chain retailers and small independent shops through to pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. It is estimated there are approximately 400 BCRPs operating in the UK. They seek to make their local communities safer places to live, work and visit.

About BCRP Accreditation
Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI) has become the accreditation body for Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs). The accreditation process is based on a set of standards owned by the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC).
The standards include good management practices and procedures such as membership agreements, data security and compliance with current legislation. It includes having robust information for members and partner organisations that is up to date as well as making it easily accessible 24/7. For some BCRPs, the standards will include the use of CCTV and radio links with members.
The aim is to recognise good practice and professionalism to ensure BCRPs are functioning in an ethical manner and within the law, specifically checks to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.
It is expected that accreditation will enhance the level of partnership working nationally and encourage continued, significant, national business investment in BCRPs. In addition, the intention is that it will provide reassurance to police forces that data shared with BCRP partner organisations will be utilised in a responsible manner to reduce criminal activity.