Safer Business Award is high praise for town's team

PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 September 2015

BID members with Safer Business Award they have just won.

BID members with Safer Business Award they have just won.

Archant

A GROUP of people who are working to reduce crime and help to make Weston-super-Mare town centre safer have been given an award.

Tracking criminals on CCTV, helping to arrest a prolific handbag thief and using radio link systems between shops in the town centre are just some of the things The Weston Business Crime Reduction Initiative is excelling at.

The initiative is a partnership between the police, many of the town’s businesses, CCTV control room and the Town Centre Partnership and aims to reduce crime in the town.

Weston’s crime reduction manager Dave Gwynne, said: “As part of that we have a database full of information.

“The safe business award is all about the data protection element of that. The database has a lot of information on it so the award is to show we are doing it correctly and it is being used in the right way.”

The National Association of Business Crime Partnerships (NABCP) awarded the team a distinction in the Safer Business Award following a two-and-a-half-hour inspection.

Mr Gwynne highlighted one case in particular to the NABCP which involved street wardens, shop assistants, CCTV control and police all helping to arrest a prolific handbag thief.

The suspect was tracked and found in a pub after a 20-minute search by security officers.

But the searching paid off when police officers found a wallet and credit cards hidden in a toilet cistern inside the pub.

Mr Gwynne said: “This shows how the high level of co-operation by the partnership is able to co-ordinate a response to crime and theft in the town.

“This person was a persistent thief who preyed on tourists, who are essential for the success of the retail economy of our town.

“I am really pleased with the way the various elements – BID wardens, security officers and retailers worked together to bring this to a successful conclusion.

“It is a good example of the value of partnership work and helps to maintain Weston as a safe place to visit and shop.”

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