Southend Business Against Crime virtual meeting - 28th September 2021
Many thanks to those attended the Business Against Crime meeting.
Minutes and Actions from the last meeting
Southend BID Crime and Safety Updates
· July – August Stats (% change to same period last year):
· 651 visitor enquiries (+124.5%)
· 400 business crime assists (+200.8%)
· 267 anti-social behaviour incidents (+107%)
· 87 rough sleeper engagements and/or begging incidents (+61.1%)
· 70.3% / £7,761.67 recovery of stolen goods!! (42.5%/ £2,201.83)
· The Street Ranger team took part in an Action Counters Terrorism course in July through Counter Terrorism Policing which they found incredibly useful for their daily roles.
· The team are also now attending a weekly seafront security briefing which will continue until the last day of the fireworks so that all security teams are kept informed and working together.
· As the Summer season ends so has the main part of Op Union which saw up to 40 officers patrolling the seafront zones each day to minimize incidents of crime. Southend BID continue to attend weekly meetings that are held with partners to discuss any activities or challenges that occurred each weekend.
· Over 8,000 wristbands have been handed out to supplier venues of the Keeping Together across the summer, and posters were produced to promote this at venues. More wristbands will be handed out to venues in the lead up to the fireworks.
· Night Time Economy Group (NTEG) has continued over the last few month but chair will pass to Paul Hogben for future meetings. Southend BID are now leading on Southend PubWatch which will hold meetings in different night time economy venues each month to encourage collaboration.
· PubWatch has now re-started and is led by Southend BID, to attend these monthly meetings email Hello@SouthendBID.com
· Road closure permit in place as a precaution by the council for the seafront if necessary e.g. ASB or cruises etc. Safety is being prioritised.
Town Centre Police Team (TCPT) Update
· OP JORVIK is an operation devised by CSO Hicks from the Community Safety Team, which involved CSO’s and Town Centre Team officers working together to identify and enforce against ASB and street drinking in the York Road area and wider town centre.
· DISC is now (finally) confirmed – the DISC application has now been trialled and tested by our IT department, and has now received ‘sign-off’ and is being made available to all devices in the force later this week.
· Op Union - this is the operation that targets serious violence and disorder associated with the summer economy increased footfall. This operation is now significantly scaled-back and will close at the end of this month. It has seen officers from all across Essex policing the town, seafront and Leigh areas as the area has seen the highest amount of increased footfall of anywhere in the UK.
· Hares about Town damages – these investigations have been handled by PC LEAVER and a suspect for the damages has been interviewed and admitted causing the damage, He has paid for the damage and given an additional donation to Havens Hospices, receiving a Community Resolution as per the wishes of the victim. This was well-handled investigation by PC LEAVER, who through his tenacity and trawling of social media identified the suspect.
· Since the last Business Against Crime meeting we have welcomed PC Carly Boitoult and PC Dan Brannan to the team. Both are very experienced officers, who have a great attitude and are just the right kind of officers for the job!
· We have been pushing Op Grip for hotspot patrolling whereby members of the public scan QR codes for locations they are visiting.
Business Crime Team Updates
· 17,009 offences recorded in 12 months to July 2021. with a 22.9% reduction year on year. This includes a reduction of:
o 11.8% in shoplifting
o 26.6% in Business Burglary
o 5.4% in Criminal damage
· In Thurrock, we have been working with ShopSafe to issue 53 radios to businesses that direct to a central control room for quick communication to the crime team. 24 month free trial to businesses in the zone via a grant through Safer Streets.
· There has been a focus on crimes against businesses particularly abuse against retail workers. We have instigated training for retail staff with regards to theft, shoplifting etc. Southend BID agreed to support with arranging this activity to support our BID businesses and their staff (ACTION).
· The Business Crime Team are working collaboratively with NBCC to simplify their interpretation of the Process of Criminal Behaviour Orders. This should allow a better focus and understanding of requirements.
· Increase in SmartWater anti-theft liquid in businesses. SmartWater is a traceable liquid and forensic asset marking system that is applied to items of value to identify thieves and deter theft. This enables stolen items to be traced back to the businesses they were taken from. Share information with Southend BID and Community Safety so we can review potential future projects in Southend (ACTION).
· Sadly there has been an Increase in robbery of taxi drivers in recent months.
· Using analysis, we have identified new and additional areas of patrols such as supermarkets to combat criminal activity. This has resulted in 4 successful CBOs.
· There has been an Interest in new recruits (24 trained street pastors + 19 prayer pastors). The first aid trust has helped them complete all necessary courses. The Street Pastors undertake night-time patrols
· 18 Street Pastors undertook drugs awareness training
· This Friday (30th) we are commissioning 3 new street pastors + a prayer coordinator
· There has been an Increase in elderly people out in the evenings due to loneliness – we have put them in touch with Age Concern so they can engage with this and try and encourage them to undertake day time activities and build confidence. Sadly, lots of elderly people are frightened
· One evening we paid for 2 elderly people to get a taxi home as they were a bit lost
· There are 4 street pastors + 1 prayer pastor looking after night time economy
· Increase in people coming down from London who have indicated they are disappointed with Southend’s nightlife
· Day time patrols - police asked if they could go into local parks and Hamlet Court Road for patrols and meet and greets. This received great engagement and acceptance - showing people where they need to go for safety and food
· There has been an Increase of the night time economy and 280 glass bottles recovered from the streets in last 2 months support this.
· They have noticed a large amount of young people congregating on seafront with officers advising people to be careful and step back from the water front to avoid accidents. The response to this has been friendly and positive.
Community Safety Update
· New problematic individuals appearing from out of town or old faces reappearing specifically in the York Road areas.
· Hate crime awareness week will take place between 9 – 16 October. There will be a roadshow across 3 different locations (the railway bridge, Royals shopping Centre, and Kursaal estate). Incidents of hate crime reporting have risen which may be due to the increased awareness of what is a hate crime from the BLM movement.
· Lots of court dates for CBOs around the town centre thus banning notorious faces. There has been 1 custodial sentence for breaching the ban.
· There has been an influx in recruitment of community support officers.
University of Essex
· We have been setting up testing and vaccine sites outside university grounds
· There has been an influx of students for ‘welcome week’ from all years because 2nd and 3rd year students missed out due to pandemic restrictions.
· Police say patrols have increased around the university area
· Sadly, drug dealers see students as a new customer base and students have raised safety as an issue.
· Police and CS to increase patrols to enforce safety messaging and any ASB or criminal activity will not be tolerated (ACTION)
Next meeting: Tuesday 30th November 2021, 6pm. Email Hello@SouthendBID.com to attend or provide feedback.