Dover and Yeovil may be 200 miles apart, but they are like-minded in their hard work and commitment to bringing together their police, council, shops and pubs to deter and reduce crime to make their town centres safe places to visit.
Both towns have radio systems for use by member companies, including retailers and pubs, to report incidents, and are linked with their police CCTV control rooms. They proactively share information to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in support of their daytime and night-time economies.
They are the first towns in the UK to receive a new award, which recognises the most successful Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs).
Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, which works alongside the Police Service throughout the UK to introduce a wide range of crime prevention initiatives to build safer and stronger communities, became the accreditation body for BCRPs last year.
Accreditation is based on a set of standards that have been created over the last 24 months by a group of industry professionals, co-ordinated by Martin Blackwell, former Chief Executive Officer, of the Association of Town and City Management and including representatives from the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC), leading staff from the BCRP sector and business.
These standards ensure good practice and professionalism, such as functioning in an ethical manner and within the law, have good management practices and procedures such as membership agreements, data security and compliance with current legislation. They include having robust information for members and partner organisations that is up to date as well as making it easily accessible 24/7.
Dover Partnership Against Crime (DPAC) has 120 members, tackles crime in Dover, Deal and Sandwich and has won a number of awards including a Home Office Safer Shopping Award in 2002 and a Safer Business Award three years later.
Graham Tutthill, Chairman of DPAC, said: “We have a good history and have been very successful. We have been very active in combatting crime and anti-social behaviour. We are delighted that we’ve passed the assessment and been accredited and we look forward to a new chapter in our lives going on from here,” he said.
Yeovil Crime Reduction Team (YCRT) has 170 members and covers Yeovil, Chard, Crewkerne and Sherborne. Over the last four years, they have established ways of supporting individuals who come to their attention and to signpost them to a wide range of support agencies to help break their cycle of offending.
YCRT’s Co-ordinator, Gareth Williams, said: “I am passionate about wanting to make Yeovil a better and safer place for people to come. All the organisations that we work with are all working to this goal. This is very much an award for the team.”
Guy Collyer, who has oversight of BCRP accreditation for PCPI, said: “The achievements of Dover and Yeovil are highly commendable. These are towns with BCRPs that are dedicated to reducing crime and keep people safe.”
BCRPs are encouraged to contact one of the Assessing Organisations working with the NBCC that have been authorised to carry out assessments leading to accreditation.