Business Watch scheme launched locally to help prevent crime

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Pictured at the launch of the Business Watch Initiative is Annette Blaney, PCSP Project Co-Ordinator, Gilbert Lee, Vice Chair of PCS, Lisa Sherman Crime Prevention Officer and Philip Woods, Business Owner.
Pictured at the launch of the Business Watch Initiative is Annette Blaney, PCSP Project Co-Ordinator, Gilbert Lee, Vice Chair of PCS, Lisa Sherman Crime Prevention Officer and Philip Woods, Business Owner.

A scheme aimed to increase the prevention of business related crime and reduce the fear of crime in the community was recently launched with the ‘Business Watch Initiative’.

Bringing together local businesses and the Police, this initiative in partnership with Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), is currently working closely with local petrol stations and nearby clusters of businesses following a spate of recent crimes targeting ATMs at such locations.

The Business Watch Initiative operates in a similar way to a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. It is run for, and by, members of the business community, is supported by the Police and the PCSP and therefore makes it simple to share information about criminal, anti-social and suspicious behaviour in your area to prevent crime.

The three aims of the initiative are to; increase the prevention and detection of business related crime, increase community engagement between individual members, the police and other business related groups and to reduce the fear of crime in your community.

There are a number of benefits to being a member of the Business Watch Initiative. You will have access to Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Text Alert, which gives you early information regarding crimes or suspicious behaviour.

You will receive a visit from the PSNI Crime Prevention Officer who will provide advice on how to report suspicious activity as well as giving you information about security products that reduce theft and increase the chance of offenders being caught.

You will also have access to free Business Watch Signage, free counterfeit pens and free Safeshop training.

“This initiative brings together local businesses and the Police and will be an important tool in both the prevention and detection of business related crime and in reducing the fear of crime within the business community,” commented Gilbert Lee, Vice Chair of the PCSP.

“With the recent criminal activity around petrol stations and nearby businesses, this initiative means information about criminal behaviour, suspicious activity and anti-social behaviour can be easily shared, which in turn will help to prevent crime.”

Although work is ongoing with local petrol stations to deliver this initiative, if your business is interested in signing up, contact Crime Prevention Officer Lisa Sherman on 07795 607 473.