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27 May 2016
On Friday 20 May, Dorset Police signed a data sharing agreement with Boscombe Business Watch to deter crime and anti-social behaviour in Boscombe town centre. 

As part of the Boscombe regeneration project, Dorset Police continually seek to identify opportunities to work more closely with the community to detect, prevent and reduce crime in the local area.

The information sharing agreement allows Dorset Police to share electronic data, photographic images and information with Boscombe Business Watch. It seeks to assist members in identifying named offenders who have been convicted or cautioned for offences relating to retail theft, in accordance with data protection. 

Boscombe Business Watch formed in response to concerns from local businesses and residents regarding crime and disorder, public nuisance and other forms of anti-social behaviour in Boscombe. It enables its 30 members, namely local retailers, to identify and ban known prolific shoplifters or anti-social and violent persons from their premises.

The newly signed information sharing agreement provides a strong framework for Dorset Police and Boscombe Business Watch to work together to alleviate crime, in and around retail premises. 

Dorset Police will take part in the Boscombe Business Watch Strategic Group’s monthly meetings, where security staff, local retailers and Dorset Police officers can exchange relevant information and collaborate tactics to combat crime.

Radios, currently in operation, are used by members of Boscombe Business Watch to provide an early warning system if crime occurs. The radios are held by local businesses, Community Safety Accreditation Scheme Officers (CSAS) and Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs), enabling officers to respond immediately should problems arise. 

CSAS officers working in Boscombe not only offer a highly visible presence, but have access to and are able to collect video evidence and intelligence. 

Boscombe Precinct NPT officer, Police Constable Sophie Williams, said: “Dorset Police are committed to working in collaboration with partners in an intelligence-led capacity to prevent and detect crime.

“The new information sharing agreement allows us to proactively target suspects and will make committing crime and anti-social behaviour more difficult.

“Our priority is to make Boscombe town centre a hostile environment for crime. We are regularly on foot in the area and operate a no-nonsense approach when dealing with offenders.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “We know that 17% of all crime in Dorset is business related and it is therefore vital that the police and partners share information to reduce crime and improve community safety. The business community can provide vital intelligence about offenders and the police service can share details about those convicted of crimes which can reduce future impact on their business.”

Malcom Spicer, who administers Boscombe Business Watch, said: “The increasingly successful partnership of Boscombe Business Watch and Dorset Police has both made the area a more pleasant, safe and welcoming place to be.”

Boscombe Precinct NPT officer, Police Constable Rob Donnelly, said: “It must be stressed that information cannot be shared with anyone who is not part of Boscombe Business Watch. We strongly encourage businesses who want to join, or wish to find out more about Boscombe Business Watch, to contact Malcolm Spicer on 07710 020476.”

If you suspect someone is in the process of committing theft or other forms of anti-social behaviour, please dial 999 immediately so we can intercept or call 101 or Crimestoppers with non-urgent information.

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