As a result of the agreement, six additional police officers will continue to be deployed in the town centre, providing a strong visible presence and reinforcing the importance placed upon the need for a collaborative effort between the business community and the police to tackle and drive out crime from the area.
In addition to helping to deter and detect crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour, part of the town centre police team’s focus will be on building relations and increasing engagement with businesses and providing them with the advice, information and training they need to ensure they are better equipped to prevent crime and to safeguard the interests of their staff and their customers.
The match-funding arrangement which was first entered into in 2008, is a key strand of Croydon BID’s pledge to help improve safety and security in the town centre. In addition, the BID funds the award-winning Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership, an important intelligence-sharing partnership between the local business community, the police and Croydon Council, which aims specifically to deal head-on with repeat offenders by banning them from the town centre in the drive to cut crime.
“Ensuring that everyone feels able to have a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience is our top priority when it comes to supporting the town centre economy and reducing the fear of crime,” said Croydon BID chief executive Matthew Sims.
“The relationships that we have developed with the Metropolitan Police over the past decade have enabled significant in-roads to be made in dealing with crime in the area,” he added.
Over the past ten years, Croydon BID has invested in excess of £2.24m in projects and initiatives designed to improve safety and security in the town centre. In the last year alone, an additional 21,000 hours ofdedicated town centre policing were delivered as a result of the match-funding arrangement. The twelve months to January 2018 saw a 23.2% reduction in reported thefts from a person in the town centre, a 15.8% reduction in reported shop thefts, a 3.1% reduction in reported robberies and a 2.0% reduction in assault with injury offences.
“Despite these achievements, we recognise that the challenges now being faced by the police and by the town centre are greater than ever. The continuation of our funding of additional police resource underlines our commitment to ensure that a strong, visible police presence is maintained on our streets and our desire for the police and business community to work together in order to deter and crack down on crime in the town centre,” Mr Sims added.
Chief Superintendent Jeff Boothe Commander of the MPS South Area Basic Command Unit (BSU) said: “Croydon BID’s continued funding of additional officers for the town centre is great news.
“I recognise in these austere times the challenges being faced by both public and private sectors to continue with initiatives such as the Town Centre Scheme.
“Croydon BID has continually shown a real vision and commitment through its continued investment into improving the safety and security of people within the area. The results that have been achieved in partnership have been impressive and the drive for continued improvement is at the core of our partnership approach with the BID. I would like to personally thank them for helping us to keep Croydon town centre as safe as it can be.”