Plymouth Business Against Crime achieves national standards accreditation with ‘outstandingly high score’

January 11, 2022

The Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) for Plymouth achieved ‘an outstandingly high score’ when it successfully renewed its National Standards Accreditation with Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a police-owned organisation that works alongside the Police Service to reduce crime and build safer communities.

Plymouth Against Business Crime (PARC), which seeks to help businesses combat retail crime as well as support local police, ‘exceeded’ in 48 out of a total of 56 standards.

The BCRP National Standards Award encompasses good management practices and procedures to ensure BCRPs are functioning in an ethical and professional manner within the law, such as membership agreements, data security and compliance with current legislation including General Data Protection Regulation.

BCRPs need to demonstrate that information received by members and partner organisations is robust, up to date and easily accessible 24/7. For some BCRPs, it will include the use of CCTV and radio links with members.

From its base in Plymouth’s City Council CCTV control room in Armada Way, PARC runs a team of Rangers, who wear high visibility uniforms and are equipped with body-worn cameras.

Patrolling the city centre seven days a week, they provide a front-line deterrence to help protect offices and shops from low-level crime like shoplifting and theft and tackle anti-social behaviour, such as street drinking, substance misuse and begging.

They are trained to provide first-aid assistance and are often first on scene to help members of the public who collapse or fall in the street or anyone who is the worse for wear through drink and drugs, before paramedics arrive. They also help direct tourists and have become regarded by businesses as ambassadors for the city.

Its membership is drawn from both the day-time and night-time economies ranging from shops and offices through to pubs, bars and clubs and works with a variety of organisations like Pubwatch and the Royal Navy Police.

PARC launched in the city centre 2001 and was later extended to the whole of Plymouth with the latest on-going projects including patrols to protect car parks and boats. It became the UK’s first retail crime scheme to become a limited company. It has gone on to receive a string of business, shopping and town centre management awards.

Ian Warmington, Business Crime Manager for PARC, said: “In conjunction with the City Centre Company, the police and several other agencies, the Parc Team continues to make Plymouth a safer place to work, play and visit.” Ian is pictured below with Police Inspector Robin Loverage.

PARC operates within a Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) under Section 40 of the Police Reform Act 2002, which allows police to give permission for persons other than police officers to exercise limited but targeted powers in roles that contribute to maintaining and improving community safety. Police CPI has been nominated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council to undertake the assessment of all private sector companies seeking to run a CSAS.

Guy Collyer, of Police CPI, which is the accreditation body for BCRPs, said: “On its re-accreditation, PARC not just met, but exceeded the vast majority of standards. Exceeding 48 out of 56 standards is an outstandingly high score.

“I congratulate PARC on being a well-established and well-run organisation that seeks to reduce crime and build safer communities. In doing so, it is making a positive difference to businesses, residents and visitors to the area.”

The assessment for Plymouth’s re-accreditation was carried out by David Wilson, Executive Board Member, of the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships (NABCP).

It is expected that the National Standards will enhance the level of partnership working around the country and encourage continued, significant, national business investment in BCRPs. In addition, the intention is that it will provide reassurance to police forces that data shared with BCRP partner organisations will be utilised in a responsible manner to reduce criminal activity.

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