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National Standards accredited Bradford launches new ‘night time initiative’ as City reopens after COVID restrictions

Bradford City Centre Beat (CCB), which enjoys a particularly close partnership with local police officers, has renewed its National Standards Accreditation – recognising it has achieved the highest standards of management practices and procedures.

As a Business Crime Reduction Partnership, CCB seeks to protect businesses, and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, to make Bradford a safer place for staff, shoppers and visitors.

It is self-funding with a tiered membership fee system that reflects different sized businesses and their ability to pay. This means even small businesses can be members without having to pay full fees.

Its 125 member businesses are drawn from all sectors, including retail, pubs, clubs and hotels in the city centre and surrounding areas.

Member benefits include use of a radio system, which CCB owns outright. It provides a direct link to the Council-run CCTV control room, which monitors all radio transmissions to provide a response and assist with information sharing between businesses and police.

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Twelve Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) carry CCB radios as well as their own police radios while on duty in the city centre. The radio encryption software has been upgraded only recently. In addition, police have seconded a PCSO full time to CCB at no cost.

The CCTV control room and member businesses also receive up-to-date photographs and intelligence of known offenders via the SentrySIS Intelligence System, which also contains details of individuals who have been banned from the city centre for up to two years, although there have been no exclusions since the beginning of 2020 – just prior to the first COVID-19 lockdown.

CCB is run by a steering group of representatives from 16 member businesses, who are overseen by an eight strong Board of Management (BOM), who are all members of the steering group. The BOM includes two shopping centre managers.

It has a long-established base in the Kirkgate Shopping Centre, but CCB’s relationship with the police is such that it could use office space in the police station in the city centre if a move proved necessary.

Partners include Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) as well as housing, social services and other support agencies, who can be approached to assist street-attached individuals like the homeless.

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Steve Longbottom, who is joint Operational Manager of City Centre Beat with Steve Baker, said: “We are very pleased and proud to have received the National Standard Accreditation Award 2021.

“Steve and I have managed City Centre Beat since 2008 and the last couple of years has been difficult due to the impact of COVID-19. Businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors have been hit particularly hard. We have had to adapt the way we manage the partnership, including spells of working from home.

“Despite this, we have been able to maintain contact with our members and partners from the police, council, support agencies and others. As we emerge from the pandemic, we are focusing on rebuilding these relationships. For example, with the support and assistance of the City Centre Beat BOM, we have recently negotiated a new structure for our night-time economy members, who will form the ‘Bradford at Night’ initiative, jointly overseen by CCB and Bradford BID.

“We continue to work very closely with the Local Neighbourhood Policing Team in particular and this has improved the flow and quality of our criminal intelligence, utilising our SentrySIS system to the benefit of our members. By continuing to develop our working relationships with our members and partners we look to the future with much optimism.”

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

In his summary, David stated: “CCB Bradford is a well-managed and successful partnership. Since their first accreditation they have continued to develop with the introduction of an exclusion scheme and they are now working in partnership with the Bradford BID to launch the Bradford at Night initiative aimed at reducing violence in the night-time economy particularly with the lifting of COVID restrictions. I have no hesitation to recommend their renewal of accreditation.”

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.

Guy Collyer, who leads on BCRPs for Police CPI, said: “Bradford City Centre Beat works effectively in partnership with the police and other organsations to keep the city centre safe. I was particularly impressed by its determination and pride in being a self-funding, not-for-profit organisation – without relying on being supplemented by external funding – to achieve its aims and objectives to make Bradford safer.”

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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.

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About Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (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.