Crime and Safety
We are working hard to ensure shoppers and visitors feel safe in Southport town centre and to make it a safe place to do business.
Our Southport Business Against Crime network, backed by Merseyside Police and Sefton Council is open to all levy paying businesses.
Through several initiatives, we are aiming to reduce petty crime against businesses, make our night times feel safer and reduce disorder and create better links between businesses, the BID and local Police. The network aims to ensure everyone is working together to combat the issues we face.
We have introduced radio link and data sharing systems and body worn cameras for both day time and night time and funded taxi marshals each weekend. Our work with Pub Watch has also lead to the town achieving Purple Flag status.
Over 100 businesses throughout the town centre are now part of our Business Against Crime Network with assigned radios allowing contact between premises and sharing of crime reporting and alerts. This scheme has been proven to deter petty crime and anti-social behaviour and has proved a valuable tool to security teams both in the daytime and night-time economy.
Body cameras have also been issued to premises and have proved successful as both a deterrent and for use in evidence against offenders. The cameras provide added reassurance for door staff as well as complementing the premises’ own CCTV systems and the wider town centre network. The cameras capture images as well as audio and will be able to identify the build-up to any incident and help reduce disorder or petty crimes.
The system is backed up and supported by the DISC data and report sharing network, funded by the BID with regular security and crime meetings as well as being backed by Merseyside Police.
All BID businesses are able to get access to the DISC (Database and Intranet for Safer Communities) Intelligence network. DISC provides users with access to a number of image galleries where known and suspected offenders are on display. Security staff and other users can provide and share intelligence that will assist in identifying shoplifters, people committing ASB and other illegal activity.
The network offers security teams and store managers a safe, secure data share and incident reporting system. Administered by the BID, the system allows for crime incidents in businesses to be uploaded and shared with other businesses and for offender photos to be shared in a legal and responsible manner. All information is regularly forwarded to Merseyside Police and information has led to arrests and warnings.
A separate network exists for Pubwatch members which shares data on all trouble makers and offenders and holds details of those on the ‘Banned from one, banned from all” list.
Southport Business Against Crime members receive FREE access to the DISC system. Any official representative of a levy payer responsible for security can be added to the network on application to us.
Southport has been awarded Purple Flag accreditation after a lengthy campaign co-ordinated Southport BID working in partnership with Merseyside Police, Sefton Council, Pubwatch, Light for Life, and the Street Pastors.
The Purple Flag standard, launched in 2007, is an accreditation process similar to the Green Flag award for parks and the Blue Flag for beaches. It allows members of the public to quickly identify town and city centres that offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.
The assessment criteria considered a number of factors including cleanliness and safety, movement and transport, the range of attractions, entertainment and events, high quality environment and evidence of strong partnership working.
The Award is the result of the hard work done by everyone involved in supporting and improving Southport’s evening and night-time economy. Towns and cities achieving this status are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.
We have been supporting the Southport Pub Watch in their efforts to increase their presence and membership and in all their activities designed to improve the safety of Southport at night. We have provided materials and support for their ‘Banned from one’ Banned from all’ policy and their own DISC data network.
The BID has reintroduced two taxi marshals to Southport town centre. Dressed in high visibility jackets, they are there to provide that extra peace of mind to revellers looking to return home by taxi after midnight out in our town.
The Marshalls ensure that only legal and registered hackney carriages and private hire vehicles are operating in the town and help maintain an orderly queue for the taxis throughout the night meaning that the queues move faster and the potential for disorder is minimised.
The scheme is fully funded by the BID backed by Southport Pubwatch members, the Council and the Police. They work alongside Police, bar and club security and street pastors to ensure Southport feels safe for those visiting in the evening.
Body Worn Cameras
We joined forces with Merseyside Police and Sefton Council to roll out body worn cameras to both evening door staff and store security teams. The cameras provide added reassurance for door staff as well as complementing the premises’ existing CCTV. The cameras capture both image and sound and help identify the build up to an incident and act as a deterrent.
Footage from the cameras has already been passed to Merseyside Police for use in cases.