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Strong relationships with police and businesses help Cherwell Crime Partnership renew its National Standards Accreditation

Cherwell Crime Partnership (CCP), which covers the towns of Banbury and Bicester, has successfully renewed its National Standards Accreditation with Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, a police-owned organisation that works alongside police forces to reduce crime and build safer communities.

Working closely with Thames Valley Police, CCP tackles business-related crime to make Banbury and Bicester – towns that are 20 miles apart and linked directly by the M40 – safe and friendly places to work and visit.

Supported by businesses covering the day and night-time economies, ranging from large retailers to independent businesses, it remains resolute in sending out the message that offending will not be tolerated.

Over the last 20 years, CCP has adopted a twin-edged approach to deterring and preventing crime:

-Establishing good working relationships with local policing teams to ensure the scheme is addressing issues and concerns that are current to reduce offending

-Building a strong membership, which has grown to more than 95 retail businesses and 45 licensed premises, which are regularly visited in both towns by the respective local policing teams and the scheme’s co-ordinators to encourage participation, particularly around providing training and support to prevent crime.

When identified, these training needs could cover general crime prevention but could be more specific, such as making the best use of their radio network, preventing shop theft or writing statements following reports of crime.

Two specific member benefits for both CCP and Cherwell Pubwatch, include use of:

-DISC (Database and Intranet for Safer Communities), a secure and authorised system, which is available 24/7 via website and Smartphone app. It provides access to news alerts, help guides and meeting minutes as well as updates on offenders, including images of offenders that have been excluded or received Warnings and Criminal Behaviour Orders. In addition, DISC enables shoplifting to be reported to Thames Valley Police with a ‘click of a button’ to avoid calling 101

-Storenet radio system for information sharing among members via hand-held radios to provide an immediate alert to other businesses of individuals committing crimes or causing anti-social behaviour to help protect businesses, staff and customers.

The scheme’s finances have remained at the same level over the last 15 years with no additional costs to the user – with a reduction in fees to assist members during COVID, which has had significant impact on businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector.

CCP has received ‘outstanding status’ reviews on many occasions for its work in reducing crime, anti-social behaviour, protecting businesses and caring for the community. It is known for robust working partnerships not only with Thames Valley Police but also Cherwell District Council, Banbury Town Council and Bicester Town Council. (Photo of Banbury below).

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In a joint comment, Tracey Matthews, CCP Co-ordinator at Bicester Police Station and June Lynes, CCP Co-ordinator, based at Banbury Police Station, said: “The Crime Partnership is here to help the local businesses and residents of Banbury and Bicester enjoy a safe and friendly place to work and visit.

“Whilst the pandemic has brought many challenges, we have continued to offer our services throughout and we are looking forward to a positive future, continuing to work with our members and partners and developing the scheme further.

“Both Pubwatch schemes have gone from strength to strength and it is fantastic that Bicester Pubwatch has recently expanded to include the Kidlington area with the addition of six licensed premises. We are delighted to have renewed our National Standards Accreditation with Police Crime Prevention Initiatives.”

CCP launched its new and improved website recently providing information on the schemes and the opportunity to get in touch. Visit: (Photo of Bicester below).

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The Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) assessment was carried out by David Wilson, Executive Board Member of the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships (NABCP). Of the 56 standards listed in the assessment, CCP was deemed to have exceeded the requirements in 24 of them.

In his summary, David stated that Cherwell is an excellent partnership working well with Thames Valley Police. “Covering the areas of Bicester and Banbury together with pubwatches in their area, this is true partnership working. I have no hesitation to recommend that Cherwell is a partnership that exceeds the standards,” he reported.

Guy Collyer, of Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, which is the accreditation body for BCRPs, said: “Cherwell is a well-established and well-grounded Crime Reduction Partnership serving its local communities which thoroughly deserves its high score in the assessment for exceeding standards.”

The BCRP National Standards Award encompasses good management practices and procedures to ensure BCRPs are functioning in an ethical and professional manner within the law, such as membership agreements, data security and compliance with current legislation including General Data Protection Regulation. BCRPs need to demonstrate that information received by members and partner organisations is robust, up to date and easily accessible 24/7. For some BCRPs, it 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. (CCP logo below with contact details).

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Cherwell Crime Partnership
Tel: (Banbury) 01865 845106
Tel: (Bicester) 01865 845640