This week, Safer Lewisham BCRP was recognised by the FSB for its work in supporting our smaller business members in Lewisham to reduce crime. As one of the Safer Business Network Partnerships, Safer Lewisham is a locally managed BCRP, facilitating local business crime priorities, alongside our partners in the local authority and police.
This award recognised the work of the BCRP last summer in reducing youth violence and anti-social behaviour in Lewisham Town Centre. Following a spate of incidents involving large groups fighting, causing property damage and shoplifting, complaints by our business members soon began to rise, many saying they were losing customers or had to close early due to the heightened risk.
The BCRP were quickly able to use our links with the business community to bring them together and gather evidence and impact statements for the local authority in their enforcement efforts. The BCRP then had the unique opportunity in working with the Youth Offending Service as part of their reparation process. We met with 12 young offenders, some of which were involved in the ASB, and explained how their behaviour impacted the business community, eventually leading to a reduction of those visiting and shopping in the town centre, a detrimental effect to all.
A month on from the original intervention, business feedback was overwhelmingly positive. They told us they a felt well informed about the action taken to tackle the issues, and had seen a reduction in the number of incidents impacted their business. With our direct involvement from the beginning, working in close partnership with the local authority, police and local school, we were able to carefully nurture existing relationships and maintain excellent communication, to deliver information and intervention efforts throughout a period of considerable disturbance for our business community.
Hannah Wadey, Safer Business Network CEO says “this is a clear example of how our links to the business community can directly support the work of the police and the local authority to reduce crime. Our BCRP was quickly able to pull all the information together on the problematic offenders, and capture information from our members which is often missed in areas without such a strong business partnership. The collective response to this issue stopped the problem escalating further into a major incident”.
This project delivered by Safer Lewisham, is just one of many example of crime reduction initiatives led by the Safer Business Network across its Partnerships.