Businesses come together to help combat retail crime in Southampton

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09 October 2023

GO! Southampton, is continuing to work alongside Southampton City Council, and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary to tackle crime and anti-social behavior in the city centre for Safer Business Action (SaBA) Day on Wednesday 18th of October.

The day will focus on identifying and targeting the top five high-harm offenders in the city while simultaneously working to deter and prevent crime. Looking to target individuals who have previously been issued ‘member- wide exclusions’, meaning they have been banned from the city centre.

There will also be a dedicated police presence which will see sergeants, police officers and PCSO’s patrolling throughout the day. This heightened police presence will continue after the event, lasting for a few days.

To further bolster safety measures, a Dispersal Zone will be in place from 7am for 48hrs enabling Officers and PCSO’s powers to direct a person to leave the City Centre if they are engaged in anti-social behaviour. This focused approach in the city centre is to ensure crime is reduced.

After the success of the previous three SaBA days, Stephen Manion, Executive Director at GO! Southampton said: “This is the fourth Safer Business Action Day that we have supported.

“We are keen to bring partners together to build on the successes of previous years, deterring and preventing crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre.

“We’re also focusing on retail crime, many of our members are retailers or in hospitality and we’re all working together to deter retail crime and show a robust group effort to keep this kind of crime low.

“We want to maintain a safe environment for our businesses to thrive.”

The Action Day serves as a vital component of the BID’s work through its Southampton Business Crime Partnership (SBCP) to create a safer working environment for Southampton’s businesses while enhancing the city’s appeal to residents and visitors alike.

It’s part of the National Business Crime Centre’s Safer Business Action Week, contributing to a nationwide effort to combat crime and anti-social behaviour. Partners collaborating alongside GO! Southampton and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary are Local Authority enforcement teams, trading standards, homeless outreach workers, Southampton City Council Welfare Wardens, businesses and private security to ensure a well-rounded approach to preventing crime.

Southampton Chief Inspector Marcus Kennedy said: “We are pleased to be supporting this day of action again this year, particularly as a key focus for us is tackling shoplifting and retail crime, along with its associated criminality.

“We fully appreciate and understand the impact that this type of crime has on businesses, staff and shoppers and it will not be tolerated by police. We are committed to relentlessly pursuing those who carry out these crimes and hope that our work demonstrates our proactive approach to the public and local businesses, beyond this day of action.

“This is just a snapshot of our continued close working with the Southampton Business Crime Partnership, which we regularly share information with to target those causing the most harm in the city centre.”

Police and partners will be engaging with businesses on the day, advising on how they can deter crime in the workplace and encouraging official reporting of incidents to provide an accurate picture of the current levels of anti-social behaviour and crime. Representatives from John Lewis & Partners, Southern Co-Op and other retailers will also be involving their staff, loss prevention teams and security provision to get involved on the day.

Victim Support will also be paired up with GO! Southampton’s Ranger, visiting businesses that have been targeted by prolific offenders to encourage staff to seek help if they have been affected by abuse, hate crime or violence.

Safer Business Action Day promises to be a collaborative and impactful effort, reinforcing the commitment to safety and crime reduction in the city centre.

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