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  • Writer's pictureSouthend BID

Southend Safer Business Action Day

Working together to create a safe city centre this summer and beyond.

On Wednesday 26th July, a successful Safer Business Action Day took place in Southend-on-Sea. Organised by Southend City BID in partnership with the Essex Police Community Policing and Business Crime Teams, the primary focus of this joint initiative was to proactively engage with young people to address potential issues of 'Youth Anti-Social Behaviour' (ASB) in the City Centre as school summer holidays began.

By fostering a united approach, participants which also included Total Security Services (TSS) and Local Authority Community Safety, CCTV and Youth Engagement departments, spent the day engaging with young people to understand any issues faced that could be causing ill behaviour so support could be offered whilst setting clear expectations of conduct for the summer holidays.

Southend Police, Street Rangers, Youth Offending and Community Safety gather together on Southend Safer Business Action DAY

Suzanne Gloyne, Southend City BID Manager, expressed her satisfaction with the day’s results, stating:

‘We listened to feedback received from businesses regarding ASB concerns which can peak during the school holidays and this Safer Business Action Day has demonstrated the power of collaborative efforts in making our city centre safer, more inviting and a vibrant place to shop and socialise. We are grateful for the community support and feedback, which motivates us to continue working together towards a safer Southend.

The teams visited 33 businesses to discuss ASB issues they’re facing and advise on how to report incidents, they also engaged with 86 young people, and found 1 individual to be carrying cannabis after a positive stop and search by police. It was a really great piece of partnership working that will continue to focus on supporting our businesses and residents.’

Officer Alex Plaktienko from the Essex Police Business Crime Team said:

‘With the day’s activity we wanted to set the gold standard of partnership working in what I can only describe as a unique, dynamic, and exciting community. By working with Southend partners, Essex Police’s Community Policing Team and Business Crime Team have the opportunity to promote best practice in staff safety, increase awareness of anti-social behaviour, modern day slavery education, and theft prevention in busy retail zones. I am thrilled, not only to see the results of the day’s activity but also the engagement that has been produced with the people of Southend’s Community. We look forward to seeing how this grows and the legacy such days can bring.’

During this community day, the teams split to joint patrol areas including the High Street, Shopping Centres, side streets, back alleys, and Warrior Square, engaging with youths, business owners and staff to promote active reporting of such behaviour via 101 and town link radio which feeds directly to the cities’ CCTV team. This proactive approach aimed to address issues immediately and maintain a safe environment for all.

Sergeant Stephen Wells of the Southend Town Centre Team said:

‘Anti-social behaviour has fallen across Southend by more than 30% in the past year but we continue to make sure the centre of the city is a safe and pleasant place for people to work and shop.

We have listened to the concerns of local businesses about the impact ASB has on the area and we are conducting high-visibility patrols in hotspot areas and actively engaging with young people to deter offending. We also continue to enforce the terms of the PSPO that prevents cycling and e-scooter use.

ASB is not a low-level crime, it seriously damages communities. By working closely with our BID and council partners, we are taking a joined-up approach to addressing any issues.

We also need people to report ASB when they experience or witness it by calling 101 or reporting via the Essex Police website. Tell us and we can take action.’

Simon Ford, Head of Community Safety at Southend-on-Sea City Council:

‘We recognise the impact of negative behaviours can have on both community and local businesses. By working together, we can challenge negative behaviours and create an environment where businesses can flourish. Today’s Safer Business Action Day is not a temporary solution, but the start of strong partnership working, committed to building a vibrant and safe city centre for all.’

Police with their back to the camera looking out on Southend High Street


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