Bognor BID takes action after ‘increase in crimes against businesses’

A crime reduction partnership has been set up in Bognor in response to ‘increasing crime against businesses’, the BID has revealed.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 10:24 am
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 10:26 am
Paul Wells (right), chairman of the BID, with BID director Mark Hall (left) and a community warden at the launch of the Bognor Community Warden Service last year. ks180435-1

The Bognor Regis Business Improvement District confirmed it has taken action after discovering that ‘shoplifting and assaults against staff in the carrying out of theft is on the rise nationally’.

A spokesman said: “Local businesses will be reassured to know that the BID’s Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) is fully operational, and is now introducing an exclusion scheme which bans repeat offenders from entering all members’ premises for a minimum three month period.

“The Business Crime Reduction Partnership operates within the organisational structure of the BID, and replaces the town’s previous ‘Shop Watch’ scheme.”

Mark Halls, director of the Bognor Regis BID and BCRP co-ordinator, said he is ‘really pleased’ to have set up the BCRP under its ‘Welcoming Town Centre’ objective.

He added: “We have a good working partnership with Sussex Police and an information sharing agreement in place

with them.

“We are all working together to make Bognor Regis a safe and welcoming town centre to visit.”

The spokesman said the BCRP ‘connects all the current initiatives’, including the shop radio scheme, DISC crime reporting system - and the ‘new exclusion scheme - within one clearly defined, GDPR compliant framework’.

It added: “The key roles of the BCRP are managing daily reports made by the members, operating the exclusion scheme and working in partnership with other agencies.

“More than 30 businesses have joined the BCRP since its official launch in February, and more than 262 incidents have already been reported through the DISC App.

“Using information reported by businesses through the DISC App, the BCRP will now be issuing exclusion notices to anyone with more than two business related offences, including theft, attempted theft and deception.

“The exclusion means that offenders will not be allowed in any of the shops or businesses in the town that are members of the BCRP partnership for a minimum three month period.”

The BID said partnership members include Boots, Wilko, Morrisons, Superdrug and Mountain Warehouse.

“All member businesses will be visibly displaying the BCRP logo at their main entrance, and information updating businesses about who has been issued with an exclusion notice is instantly communicated through the secure DISC App,” the spokesman said.

“Businesses wishing to sign up to the BCRP should email BID directors Mark Halls or Chris Heaps at: [email protected]

“Please note that membership of the BCRP is not open to the general public. Similarly, the BCRP does not replace Sussex Police. Always report emergencies to the relevant emergency services.”