As part of the security support Hereford Business Improvement District provide to its members, a new focus on the top five offenders in the city is beginning to pay dividends.
Mike Truelove, Operations Manager for HBID, said “HBID works closely with security partners and businesses in a variety of ways from leading on ‘Team Hereford’s’ weekly operational group or the DISC Security App that over 200 businesses are enjoying and use to keep staff and property safe. To promote clarity and progression, partners now pay particular focus to the top 5 city offenders with a personalised strategy that will enable shops to easily provide evidence that supports Police action, but importantly, provides a listening ear and signposting from the charity Vennture who will spend time to talk and offer mentoring”.
In recent years cuts to Policing numbers and agency support (such as drug rehabilitation) has resulted in greater pressure being put upon businesses who are seeing increased shop theft and specialised roaming gangs who target shopping destinations. In many cases, local shop theft is conducted to fund a drug habit of which there are a core group of regular offenders causing the majority of issues across many years.
Mike added “Our goal as HBID is to protect businesses staff and stock whilst at the same time ensuring anti-social behaviour is kept to a minimum. The answer is simply not just to deter, but also provide a way out for these individuals which is why the partnership approach we are implementing is so important to a lasting and sustaining solution. Already, we are beginning to see some success with two very well-known individuals receiving direct help and support; crucially, this has been reinforced by the support of the courts who listened to our evidence of the detrimental and dangerous cycle these people fall into and from where simply allowing them to continue with a telling off no longer serves themselves or the city”.