Community engaged in collaborative crime prevention scheme

Sovereign Centre

Client: Boscombe Shopping Centre/Sovereign Shopping Centre
Sector: Retail
Key Factors: Crime Reduction

The Challenge: Dorset Police, along with local businesses in their area, were looking for a collaborative approach to crime reduction. The busy seaside town of Boscombe has a successful day and night-time economy but was suffering the negative impact of anti-social behaviour, shoplifting and vandalism.

The Solution: GUK carried out extensive research into successful collaborative crime prevention schemes running in other parts of the UK. This helped highlight best practice which could be used to effectively in the Boscombe area, as well as identifying potential barriers to success. The research inspired the creation of the country’s first crime prevention scheme managed by a private security company.

The Boscombe Crime Prevention Scheme (BCPS) now has 30 members, including major high street retail chains and local independent traders. Each member agrees to a code of conduct, which facilitates a consistent approach to the sharing of information and action taken against persistent offenders. In addition to this, every participant has been provided with radio equipment, training and support to ensure they are able to work confidently together to reduce criminal behaviour. A dedicated scheme manager also serves as a liaison between businesses, police and local authorities, ensuring good communication. Through this work, GUK obtained Community Safety Accreditation Schemes (CSAS) status from Dorset Police. This allows GUK to recruit individuals up to police officer standard. These recruits have the same powers as PCSOs, which includes the rights to demand name and address, confiscate alcohol and cigarettes, remove cyclists and skateboarders from pedestrian areas, and provide visual presence for crime prevention.

The scheme has both made the area a more pleasant, safe and welcoming place to be; and fostered excellent links within the community.

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