Humberside Police have joined forces with HullBID and Hull City Council to help businesses in the city centre cut the cost of crime this Christmas.
Major retailers and small independent traders heard how the partnership is working to protect the businesses and their customers at the busiest time of the year.
A briefing organised by HullBID at the Mercure Hull Royal Hotel delivered a series of messages about how businesses can help themselves and how they can access support when they need it.
Inspector Kirsty Tock from the City Centre Policing Team outlined the retail arm of Operation Yuletide, which will see extra, high-visibility policing to deter and tackle crime in the busy retail area whilst also providing a reassuring presence to shoppers in the area. Insp Tock also told how her team are working with various homeless agencies and community safety partners to deal with aggressive beggars and anti-social behaviour linked to their activity.
PC Andy Allen, the Humberside Police Crime Prevention Officer, provided an interactive crime prevention presentation to highlight basic principles of how to prevent and deter shop theft. He emphasised the importance of prevention rather than detection, implementation of simple security measures and working as retail partnerships to share information on known or banned offenders.
Martin Walker, Hull City Council CCTV Control Manager gave an input on the value and support offered by the Civic 1 CCTV system which helps prevent and detect those offending. While Gary Dixon, Hull City Council Anti-Social Behaviour Officer encouraged businesses to report anti-social behaviour and outlined the action they take against offenders.
Insp Tock said: “The key to reducing shop and retail crime is the police, local partners and businesses working closely together to prevent businesses from becoming a target by thieves. This event was designed to give businesses tips and guidance on how to remove vulnerability by simply altering the shop layout and co-ordinating security arrangements in partnership with other stores, the police and the HullBID radio system.
“My team are working with retailers in the run up to Christmas, which is their busiest time of the year. We’ll have additional high visibility patrols on patrol in the city centre to deter criminality and anti-social behaviour, respond to calls for service and engage with the businesses and shoppers picking Christmas gifts for their loved ones.”
Kathryn Shillito, HullBID City Centre Manager, said: “Investing in security to protect our members’ businesses and their customers is one of HullBID’s main areas of activity. We work closely with Humberside Police and Hull City Council throughout the year and particularly during the build-up to the festive season.
“Feedback from this briefing has been very positive. Businesses recognise the need to be alert and vigilant and they realise that you can never have too many reminders about how to protect yourself against criminals.
“We help the businesses by providing a very effective radio system, which enables them to spread the word about criminals operating in the city centre, and with a CCTV service which has proved invaluable. We also employ two support officers who liaise with businesses, the police and the City Council’s anti-social behaviour team.”