Lots of festive visitors expected
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.firstname.lastname@example.org.