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.
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