Spring 2003 Newsletter - Page 1

Bridgwater gains 'Safer Shopping Award'

The Bridgwater Business Security Group (BBSG) has proven that partnership is the key to effective Crime Management. On 17 February 2003 the Home Office will be presenting the BBSG with the “Safer Shopping Award”. This ceremony will be attended by all the partners, local businesses and Sedgemoor District Council representatives. The award follows the Home Office accreditation assessment that was completed in November 2002. Bridgwater is the 57th town in the country to achieve this award.

David Leigh (Consultant, British Retail Consortium) said; “I was impressed with the preparation that has obviously been put into compiling all the various documents and protocols which are so important in making the BBSG legal and legitimate in respect of the requirements of the Police, the Office of the Information Commissioner and the members of the scheme. I am sure that as your partnership develops and your membership grows you will be a model within the region for other partnerships to follow”.

The award recognises the effect management and success of partnership schemes. In Bridgwater the BBSG acts as the umbrella group for RetailWatch and PubWatch. The schemes meet at least monthly and have over 80 businesses as members. The meetings are chaired by local businesses, supported by the BBSG Board of Management. Fifteen thousand pounds pump prime funding has been secured from the “Home Office Drugs Asset Fund” via the Sedgemoor Crime and Disorder Partnership. On-going funding will be a combination of membership fees and sponsorship to ensure the long-term viability of this initiative. A part-time Crime Co-ordinator has now been appointed and is helping to support the schemes. Two new BBSG/Police funded radios are being installed in Police response vehicles to increase Police officers ability to respond to incidents in the town.

The Chairman of the BBSG Ian Harris (Angel Place Shopping Centre) says; “Local business sponsors to be thanked include, The BIT Shop, Gerber Foods, JAG, DCRS Communications, and The Princes Trust. Our bid for the Safer Shopping Award has been a key aim of the BBSG and we are focused on further developing our partnerships with the businesses, Police, Sedgemoor District Council and other town centre stakeholders”.




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