Lots of fes­tive vis­i­tors ex­pected

Stockport Express - - Business - BY HE­LEN WHITE To­tally Stock­port

THERE are many ex­cit­ing events hap­pen­ing in Stock­port over the next few weeks and lots more to look for­ward to.

The Christ­mas light switch-on hap­pens today; the first restau­rants are tak­ing or­ders at Re­drock and it’s ‘cur­tains up’ at the new Light Cinema on Fri­day.

Through­out the fes­tive pe­riod we are look­ing for­ward to a big in­flux of vis­i­tors ar­riv­ing through­out the day and evening – shop­pers, cinema go­ers, din­ers, panto lovers – gath­er­ing to en­joy ev­ery­thing that Stock­port has to of­fer.

We want every­one to feel safe too and last week rep­re­sen­ta­tives from both the Greater Manch­ester Counter Ter­ror­ism Unit, our own lo­cal town cen­tre po­lice team and the coun­cil in­vited a group from Stock­port town cen­tre busi­nesses to learn how we can all be vig­i­lant and work to­gether to re­duce the oc­cur­rence of and pre­vent crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties hap­pen­ing in our area. Busi­ness Crime Pre­ven­tion is high on the lo­cal agenda; pre­vent­ing crime (es­pe­cially in re­tail); deal­ing with anti-so­cial be­hav­iour and work­ing with part­ners.

‘Busi­ness Watch’ is an ini­tia­tive op­er­at­ing in Stock­port town cen­tre in a sim­i­lar way to the Neigh­bour­hood Watch scheme – where busi­ness own­ers and the lo­cal po­lice team work to­gether to pre­vent is­sues.

Town cen­tre wide CCTV and Store Ra­dio have al­ready con­trib­uted to deal­ing with and, in some cases, pre­vent­ing petty crime. By get­ting in­volved with Busi­ness Watch, you will have the op­por­tu­nity to find out how you can help to re­duce crime. For in­stance, shop own­ers will learn how to pre­vent of­fend­ers com­ing in to the store; if they do en­ter, how to stop them steal­ing and how to safely deal with ag­gres­sive peo­ple.

But it is of­ten deal­ing with the root cause of the prob­lem that can have greater long-term ef­fect. The aim of Busi­ness Watch is to tackle crime and dis­or­der with a longterm prob­lem-solv­ing ap­proach.

By meet­ing monthly with busi­ness own­ers, in­for­ma­tion can be shared and pri­or­i­ties can be agreed.

Busi­nesses can take the lead on, for ex­am­ple, iden­ti­fy­ing the is­sues and rais­ing them at the monthly meet­ings, lead­ing to the gath­er­ing of in­tel­li­gence and ac­tion be­ing taken.

Busi­ness Watch is a for­mally recog­nised group. Leg­is­la­tion sanc­tions the shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of sus­pects. Civil Ban­ning Or­ders can be dis­cussed and the po­lice can as­sist with CBOs and ABOs.

But, most im­por­tantly, the key to its suc­cess is gain­ing sup­port from busi­nesses. It is a scheme run by busi­nesses for busi­nesses and sup­ported by the lo­cal po­lice and Stock­port coun­cil.

The scheme will be of­fi­cially set up by GMP lawyers. To find out more, please email Har­riet.wal­lace1@gmp.po­lice.uk.

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