Harrogate BCRP renews its Standards Accreditation to help protect businesses, deter offenders and build safer communities
Harrogate District Businesses Against Crime (HDBAC) has renewed its National Standards Accreditation – recognising it has achieved a high level of effective management practices and procedures.
HDBAC sits within the community safety team of Harrogate Borough Council and extends its business member reach to include Knaresborough and Ripon.
It seeks to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour against businesses by working to deter offenders and exclude those that become prolific and persistent. At the same time, it aims to make staff, residents and visitors to the area feel safer, encourage economic growth and build safer communities.
The vast majority of its 90 member businesses are largely drawn from the retail and licensed premises sector, including bars and clubs, in Harrogate. Other members include the local bus company, libraries and Business Improvement District (BID).
A not-for-profit organisation, it has a four-person Board of Management (BoM) drawn from its membership. It is chaired by the manager of Harrogate’s Victoria Shopping Centre.
HDBAC’s responsibilities include overseeing the CCTV Radiolink service – a comprehensive two-way radio communication package, which puts member businesses, the CCTV Control Room and North Yorkshire Police in touch with each other to provide a proactive and coordinated response to incidents, such as theft or anti-social behaviour. CCTV Radiolink provides an effective crime reduction network and has a proven track record in preventing crime and helping to prosecute offenders.
HDBAC operates an exclusion scheme for retail offenders and works alongside Harrogate Pubwatch’s ‘banned from one, banned from all’ exclusion scheme. Decisions on exclusions of retail offenders rest with members of the HDBAC BoM.
Members also receive crime updates and information about criminals and their methods to help them reduce the impact of crime on their business. Intelligence gathered from members has assisted in the preparation of actions such as Community Behaviour Orders (CBOs) and civil injunctions. Data sharing has been shown to be effective and popular among members.
Whilst its membership does not reflect a high percentage of the total business community, it has proved a loyal membership keen to be part of HDBAC and make the most of its services and benefits. Where members appear to have disengaged, they receive personal visits to encourage radio use and take part in training, such as use of Radiolink, how best to operate the service, and crime reduction.
Retail members are invited to bi-monthly intelligence briefings together with town centre beat police officers. Licensed premises, such as pubs and clubs, are engaged through Harrogate Pubwatch, which is the largest and most active of the Pubwatch schemes that also operate in Knaresborough and Ripon.
As well as police, HDBAC liaises with other key partners, such as Harrogate Borough Council, Yorkshire and Humberside Partners Against Crime and the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships.
HDBAC is also an active member of the regional intelligence sharing network – Yorkshire and Humberside Partners Against Crime, which sees intelligence shared across the regions’ BCRPs to address cross border criminality.
The work of HDBAC links in with the Community Safety Hub, hosted by the Borough Council. The Hub is a multi-agency approach to dealing with community safety issues. These can be thematic, locational or linked to a specific individual. The cases managed within this environment are often complex and benefit from the involvement of multiple agencies.
Julia Stack, Harrogate Borough Council’s community safety and CCTV manager, said: “HDBAC hopes to engage further with the Harrogate BID to promote a wider awareness of HDBAC, expand members and widen its activities.”
Councillor Mike Chambers, cabinet member for housing and safer communities, said: “The work undertaken by HDBAC operating across the district is a model that has developed over the years and I am pleased that the excellent work has resulted in the re-accreditation of the scheme.”
The National Standards Accreditation was carried out by David Wilson, executive board member of the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships.
HDBAC received its national standards accreditation from Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a police-owned organisation, which works on behalf of the Police Service throughout the UK to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction services.
Guy Collyer, who leads on BCRPs for Police CPI, said: “Whilst Harrogate District Businesses Against Crime is itself going through a period of day-to-day management transition, its membership remains loyal in both the retail and licensed premises sectors within the town. Its close working relationship with the police, the council, other key partners and indeed other BCRPs, underlines its standing in the community and the crime prevention and crime reduction benefits it provides to member businesses and the local communities that it serves.”
The BCRP National Standards Award is based on a set of standards owned by the National Business Crime Centre and includes good management practices and procedures to ensure BCRPs are functioning in an ethical and professional manner within the law.
The assessment includes membership agreements, data security and compliance with current legislation, specifically General Data Protection Regulation. It involves demonstrating that information received by members and partner organisations is robust, up to date and easily accessible 24/7. For some BCRPs, the standards will include the use of CCTV and radio links with members.
It is expected that the National Standards will enhance the level of partnership working around the country 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.
About Police CPI
Police CPI is a police-owned organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service throughout the UK to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction services. It maintains close working links with the Home Office, National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and police forces around the country. Senior police officers are Police CPI Board Members and control and direct the work Police CPI carries out.