Property fund helps keep Carlisle businesses safer
Cumbria’s Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (DPFCC), Mike Johnson, recently visited Cumbria Safer Business Partnership (CSBP) in Carlisle who received £2,000 in the last round of Property Fund.
The CSBP successfully bid for £2000 from the PFCC’s Property Fund to set up a DISC information sharing platform for businesses across Carlisle. The reporting platform will aim to assist businesses to work together and in partnership with Cumbria Police to reduce and deter any crimes that may affect businesses in the area. The intelligence shared will make businesses aware of offenders and reduce the likelihood of theft, ASB and other low-level crimes. This information will also be shared with the Police to help resolve any issues and be used as evidence to convict.
The visit took place in Carlisle City Centre in House of Fraser where the DPFCC met John Nugent, Volunteer Business Crime Manager for the Partnership and several managers of businesses who are members of the CSBP. At the meeting, the DPFCC heard about some of the successes of the CSBP.
Since November 2022, the CSBP has dealt with 805 shop thefts (attempted and successful) and 172 occasions dealing with individuals who are in premises when they have been banned. The partnership also dealt with incidents such as ASB, abusive behaviour, begging, breaches of community behaviour orders and intent to steal. Most of these incidents took place on English Street in the centre, followed by St. Nicholas Gate Retail Park and Caldewgate. Businesses in the city reported a loss of £86,574.07 due to theft with £42,287.79 being recovered.
Speaking on the visit, DPFCC Mike Johnson, said: “CSBP are incredibly passionate about reducing theft and other low-level crimes that effect their businesses.
“It was really interesting to hear about how they work together with partners, including the Police, to ensure that their businesses and staff are as safe as possible.
“Many people see theft from businesses as a victimless crime without threat. However, if local companies lose such a substantial amount of money as we have seen here, it can put them in danger of going out of business which means job loss on an often-large scale. Therefore, it is a massive issue that needs to be robustly dealt with.
“John and the Cumbria Safer Businesses Partnership do a fantastic job of liaising with each other to identify and deter those who wish to steal or commit other offences in the area. The team also work with the Police to provide evidence that can help get a charge through the courts and increase the chance of a prosecution or an appropriate consequence being provided.
“I’m pleased to see that the Property Fund award is going towards helping reduce local crime and making these businesses safer.
“Property Fund redistributes money seized from criminals and supports local projects and organisations with. The fund is currently open for applications until 24 November and I would urge the public to apply for funding up to £2,500 – more information can be found on the PFCC website at Property Fund – Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (cumbria-pcc.gov.uk).”
Inspector Andy Leather, Carlisle Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “It is pleasing to see that money generated and seized from those who commit crime is redistributed into very worthwhile initiatives within our communities.
“The impact crime can have on local businesses can be devastating.
“We work closely with businesses to ensure that crimes are prevented, however if they do occur – every opportunity is explored to identify those responsible and hold them accountable.
“This new information sharing platform will enhance further the partnership working to prevent and detect crimes which impact local businesses.”
John Nugent, Volunteer Business Crime Manager, said: “With the funding from the PFCC property fund, this has allowed CSBP to continue to offer the information sharing platform to members.
“This is really assisting members with being pre warned of suspects/offenders operating and also about incidents of business crime in the city, with this we are making business safe and secure for staff, shoppers and visitors in the city.
“Good partnership working is the key to this happening.”