Retail BID launches radio network to tackle city retail crime

Retail BID is launching its own digital radio network for the four BID Patrol Officers, which will then be rolled out to BID members and shopping centres, including city centre CCTV camera operators.

Working closely with partners, the radio network is part of the BID’s ambition to create a new Birmingham Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BBCRP).

A Retail BID survey of 200 city centre retailers in the summer of 2017 found that store theft was an issue of 55 per cent of respondents, while 25 per cent said it was having a significant impact on business.

The Retail BID Patrol team already work to reduce anti-social behaviour in the city centre and to keep retail business aware of other threats such as terror demonstrations and potential business disruption and the new radio system will improve this further. The BID has recently invested in the latest aerial and handset technology to ensure a comprehensive and reliable service for all businesses.

The Birmingham Business Crime Reduction Partnership will be based at Retail BID’s offices and work with key partners such as West Midlands Police, Birmingham City Council, major department stores and destinations including Bullring and Grand Central and the Mailbox.

“The world has changed, and so too has the way crime in city centres manifests itself.” explained Jonathan Cheetham, who will lead the new BBCRP Steering Group on behalf of the Retail BID board.

“Businesses need to step up to the plate and combat these issues in the best way possible. There is no strength in doing something like this on your own. The strength lies in co-ordination, communication and organisation. That’s what we will deliver. 

“There are lots of strains on any business to run itself, and although crime is an important issue, some businesses haven’t got the resources or expertise to deal with it all themselves. That is where the Birmingham Business Crime Reduction Partnership comes along.”

More details will be circulated to members shortly on how to get involved and obtain a radio for use in stores.