• Southend BID

Southend Business Against Crime virtual meeting - 30th March 2021

Updated: Apr 8

Many thanks to those attended the Business Against Crime meeting on 30th March 2021.


Minutes and Actions from the last meeting

· No actions taken.


BID Crime and Safety Updates

· January – February Stats (% change to same period last year):

-280 visitor enquiries (-46.5%)

-150 business crime assists (-58.3%)

-113 ASB incidents (-52.1%)

-83.5% / £4,835.95 recovery of stolen goods (53.6% / £4,955.67)

· New quarterly meeting with Town Centre Police Team (TCPT) and Business Crime Unit (BCU) to review DISC reports as many incidents do not get officially reported as a crime and frequent subjects. Aim of reducing theft and allocating resources with more accurate data.

· Mental Health Awareness training course. The team interact with a wide range of people on a daily basis and therefore it is beneficial to have them trained to enable them to confidently identify, understand and respond to any mental health issues that may be present

· County Lines refresher - important to do so regularly so the team can help to identify potential vulnerable persons or any concerns in the town.

· At the Southend BID Committee Meeting it was mentioned that there has been a rise in early morning anti-social behaviour (ASB) at the Victoria Circus end of the High Street.

-TCPT were advised and requested to carry out targeted patrols. TCPT confirmed this would be actioned over the coming weeks in the lead up to reopening.


Community Safety (CS) Team Update

· Actively patrolling with a focus on the High Street area.

· Working with COVID ambassador to ensure compliance with the latest measures.

· Beach Welfare Officers (BWOs) wiill be returning for the 2021 season. It will be a different team to last year but recruitment is being finalised.


Street Pastors Update

· Looking forward to coming back out and doing night time patrols.

· Two officers have left the team due to the pandemic situation and will be looking to be replaced soon.

· Patrolling all local parks in Leigh, Southend and Hamlet Court Road and has had a really positive response from the public.

· Night-time patrols are based on liaising with the council and police for feedback. Usually take place from 8.30pm but time are adaptable depending on activities in the town.


Police Update

· Assisted Community Safety Team with the application and serving of a CBO (Criminal Behaviour order) for a persistent offender in the High St and surrounding area. On the same day as the issue of the order the person was found in breach of the order, arrested and remanded to court, where they received 100 hours community service and a fine, but was incarcerated for a previous suspended sentence.

· Another persistent offender breached court imposed bail conditions by attending Iceland in the town and was arrested and remanded for the breach.

· Another subject that was awarded a Criminal Behaviour Order in December has repeatedly breached it since. In one of the breaches he also committed an outrage in public decency. He has been to court, pleaded guilty to all four breaches of CBO and the outrage, and has been remanded in prison to await sentencing.

· Several officers have undergone training (and enhanced IT access) in order to better understand and pursue sexual exploitation by organised crime groups. Several brothels in the town have been visited and the welfare of those found has been enquired into, with assistance offered. Work continues in this area.

· Town Centre Team will have an uplift of 5 special constables and a special sergeant, formally launching on 1st May.

· Project Servator in Southend has now been authorised to pick up where it was abandoned in December due to Covid. We are now having a formal launch on Saturday 24th April. We have been busy extending the reach of the initiative to include seafront locations.

· Update from Operation Quash – all stores have been visited and crime prevention advice was given. The most recent round of Business Crime Stats revealed that fewer offences were reported from the stores that were previously listed. Between Southend BID and TCPT we have established that our crime stats are significantly at odds to those that BID have, due to minor offences not being reported. Meeting regularly with BID and Business Crime Unit to review stats to ensure we have an accurate grip of most harm in the town.


BCU Update

· Launched crime prevention advice booklet which is to be will place on DISC (ACTION)

· Didn’t launch previously due to closure but now launching again prior to businesses reopening.

· 12th April will launch ‘Open for Business, Closed for Crime’ which is based on violence to staff - marketing will use children’s drawings on this.

· Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) are a really powerful bit of legislation and the BCU have achieved 19 in the last 6 months. Last week have obtained one for 5 years and another 3.

· CBOs put something in the way of offenders – particularly for those that are reoccurring – one next week that has breached it six times – ultimately leads to a 92% reduction in crime.

· One incidents in Colchester in which a female member of staff used the “challenge 25” protocol was headbutted and kicked for just challenging.

· BCU is solely focused on dealing with business crime and looking at doing some shopping centre visits soon. Looking to hold some focus groups.

· Question was asked as to whether other sectors are supported through the BCU - something will come out in the future, focus currently is on the reopening of retail and the staff.

· Reporting crime is important even if someone doesn’t get a police officer visit but it does assist with the allocation of resources – can report this online doesn’t have to just be done via 101.

· BID to spread the communications links and the BCU email link for support (ACTION)


COVID

· Southend BID have been leading on streams of the Reopening High Streets Safely fund including an additional 6 month Radio Essex campaign, new signage which aligns with the new Visit Southend branding, and new queue here floor stickers available for staff.

· Southend BID is also working on a retail reopening guidance which will be distributed imminently.

· Additional resources are set to be put on throughout the Easter weekend to curb any issues around ASB, non-COVID-19 compliance, litter, etc.


Attendee questions or concerns

· Nothing raised.


A.O.B

· Nothing raised.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please email hello@southendbid.com


Next meeting: Tuesday 25 May 2021, 6pm. Email Hello@SouthendBID.com to attend.