How can we work with other stores nearby to reduce crime in our local area?

Basingstoke shopping centre Festival Place provides an example of how businesses can come together to help reduce crime for the benefit of all.

The centre has implemented security initiatives in the past 18 months to reduce shrinkage across the centre’s 165 retailers; and partnerships with the Town Council, Hampshire Constabulary, Pub Watch and others have helped make the whole area a safer place to visit.

One of Festival Place’s anchor stores has experienced a £145,000 reduction in shrinkage, and another large retailer has witnessed 74% shrinkage in the last 12 months.

Monthly meetings are held with retailers as part of the ongoing Shop Watch programme, as a way of sharing intelligence and suggestions for new improved practices. There is a 90% attendance rate.

Festival Place centre director Steven Connolly says: “Monthly meetings are an important way of understanding retailers’ needs and how they change throughout various trading periods. To keep thinking fresh we invite external parties to attend the meetings such as Trading Standards and The Bank of England.”

The Town Centre Partnership also holds monthly meetings and has helped Basingstoke adopt new security working methods to make the town centre a safer environment.

As well as a large reduction in shrinkage the shopping centre has also seen a 25% reduction in antisocial behaviour incidents as a direct result of the centre’s Code of Conduct and Safe Accreditation powers that allow the team to take down individuals names and addresses.