A D V E R T I S E M E N T
UNITED AGAINST CRIME
Reported crime down 10%
ajor inroads have been made into stamping out crime and disorderly behaviour in the Town Centre as a result of a five years’ long partnership between the Metropolitan Police and the Croydon Business Improvement District (BID), the organisation which is funded by and represents the interests of the local business community. In the last year alone, overall reported crime has fallen by 10% and significant strides have been made towards reducing street drinking and begging with over 30 arrests made, 770 alcohol seizures and 40 penalty notices issued. These results underline the extent to which Croydon has once again benefited from a joint funding agreement between the Metropolitan Police and Croydon BID which has been in place since 2008. Under the agreement, Croydon BID finances five additional police officers in the Town Centre with a further five officers match-funded by the Metropolitan Police, making a total of ten extra officers dedicated to policing in the town. The arrangement, which Croydon BID has just confirmed
for a further year, reinforces the business community’s commitment towards preventing and tackling crime in the Town Centre, in order to create a safe and comfortable environment that everyone can enjoy. In addition, through its intelligence-sharing, Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership (CBCP), Croydon BID works with local licensees, businesses, the Police, Croydon Council, British Transport Police and other key agencies, specifically to deter and stamp out crime and deal head-on with habitual offenders such as shoplifters and those responsible for disorderly behaviour. “Perceptions of crime are frequently at odds with reality but when it comes to attracting more people and business into the town and safeguarding the interests of everyone who uses it, then driving down crime and the fear of crime are top of our agenda,” said Croydon BID chief executive, Matthew Sims. “Over the past year, a number of important initiatives have been introduced to tackle issues that are of concern to both businesses and the public and we’re delighted to see that they have been producing results
and that 93% of people say they feel safe during the daytime,” he added. “There’s still a long way to go, however, and Croydon BID’s
continued commitment to the joint funding arrangement with the Met is great news for all those working, living and doing business here as
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it sends out a very strong, positive message about our determination to create a safe and comfortable environment for all.”
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Working together for a safer place
Nick Baker, Chair, Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership
Together, Croydon Business Improvement District (BID) and the Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership (CBCP) continue to work with their members, businesses and partners to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all who use the Town Centre by deterring and cutting crime and disorder. To support this, Croydon BID provides funding for five extra
Mobile thefts take a fall Mobile phone thefts in Croydon have fallen over the last year as a result of a major crack-down by the Metropolitan Police. Around 400 fewer cases of phone theft were reported last year, after a series of high profile initiatives were introduced to deter and detect the crime. “70% of personal robberies or thefts from a person involve the theft of a mobile phone or other electronic device,” said Detective Chief Inspector Steven Baxter. “As a consequence, we’ve worked hard to tackle the problem over the last 12 months, resulting in 24% fewer offences compared to the previous year.” Dedicated police officers and enhanced police patrols have been deployed at peak times and during peak ‘offending’ periods – such as the post-holiday return to school - in an effort to reduce the number of offences and raise awareness amongst the public. Particular emphasis has also been placed on the second-hand market, with advice being given to traders over the need for greater scrutiny regarding stolen mobile phones. In a bid to highlight the importance to customers of protecting their belongings, local licensees have joined with the Police to launch the ‘Love Your Phone?’ campaign, offering advice and information on protecting your mobile phone and how you can help to assist in its recovery.
police officers, an arrangement that is match-funded by the Met, who provide a further five officers resulting in a total town team of ten, highly visible officers. Has it made a difference? Without question, the answer is yes. All the indications are that, at least in part, we are winning the battle with overall reported crime reducing by 10% in 2013 – 2014. Our greatest challenge, however,
is the perception and fear of crime. Of those surveyed on behalf of Croydon BID in 2013, 93% of people said they feel safe in the town centre during the daytime. Although it has improved over the last five years, however, the perception of safety during the evening remains a tough challenge.
The need to ensure safe passage to and from Croydon is also of absolute importance. Croydon BID continues to fund extra British Transport Police (BTP) resource at key times, underlining our commitment to your safety on
Croydon’s transport network. Today, Croydon is all about change: change on a scale that has not been witnessed in Croydon for over 50 years and that will help to put an end to the negative and popular misconceptions about the town. Read on and discover for yourself the great work being delivered by so many to ensure together, we are a safer place.
POLICE PRIORITY TO CUT CRIME BY 20% In the seven years since Croydon BID was first formed it has invested nearly £1.5 million in specific projects and services designed to create an environment in the Town Centre that is safe and comfortable for all. Central to that activity is the BID’s funding of extra, dedicated police resource to deter and cut crime and anti– social behavior. Here we talk to Croydon Police Borough Commander, David Musker about changes that have taken place in Town Centre policing, and plans for the future.
issues that matter to local communities.
Following introduction of the new policing model, what significant changes have you experienced in the borough?
The new policing model is definitely helping but we need to keep up this momentum. We continually review what we’re doing to make sure we’ve got the right resources in the right places at the right times and that our policing activity is as effective and efficient as possible. We’ll also look to learn from other boroughs here in London and from other police forces across the UK about how we can get the most from our resources and further reduce crime here in Croydon.
We’ve now got greater numbers of officers in operational policing roles in Croydon. Put simply, we’ve got more officers out on the streets tackling crime at the times and in the places they’re needed. It means we’ve improved our response times to emergency and non– emergency calls and we’ve invested more officers into Neighbourhood Policing who are tackling local
TOP TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR MOBILE PHONE 1
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Make a note of your phone’s International Mobile Equipment Identity number (IMEI) and keep it in a secure location. You will find it by entering *#06# into the keypad. Register your phone for free on the Immobilise website (www.immbolise.com). Use security or PIN locks to protect your data and prevent it being used by others. If you’re not using your phone, make sure that it’s kept out of sight. Outside your home, don’t put your phone down on a table or counter as it’s an easy target for thieves. Try to avoid using your phone in public at night. If need be, try to use it in a well-lit area. When you get off a bus or leave a tube or train station, wait before using your phone as these areas are often targeted by thieves. Don’t keep personal information like bank details or your home address on your phone.
The crime statistics for Croydon are very positive with a 10% reduction in reported crime over the last year compared to 2012– 2013. What do you attribute this to? The changes to our policing model have certainly helped. We’ve also built upon and improved our working relationships with key partners like Croydon BID and Croydon Council to share information and work together to tackle crime in the borough. It’s also the hard work of my officers, relentlessly targeting offenders – particularly repeat offenders – that is driving down crime and increasing the number of crimes we are solving. What strategies are in place to ensure the levels of crime reported continue to reduce?
Looking ahead, what are the three main priorities for Croydon MPS over the next 12 months? Our priorities are to reduce crime by 20%, increase public confidence by 20% and reduce costs by 20%. These challenging targets have been set by the Mayor of London, but I feel confident that if we continue on the path that we’re on, we’ll be able to meet these by 2016. Does Croydon suffer more from the fear of crime rather than the reality and if so, how do we combat this negative perception? I think there is a perception that there is more crime in Croydon than is actually the case. If you look at the borough’s crime rate, which measures crime per head of population, then Croydon is very much on a par with most other London boroughs. Perceptions are improving, with 14% fewer people now worried about crime and antisocial behaviour compared to 2011, but there is still a gap between perception and reality. Our focus is on delivering the best possible policing service and reducing crime in Croydon. We’re putting as
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many officers as possible into operational roles, making them more visible and accessible to the public. We’re also improving the way we engage with the public, be it face– to– face at our regular Safer Neighbourhoods meetings or online through our website and Twitter accounts. We’ll continue to tell people how we’re doing and what we’re doing to tackle the issues that matter to them in their local area. Croydon has a bustling night life. Research highlights a significant difference between consumer perceptions of safety during the day and safety during the evening. What measures have been put in place or are planned to tackle the issues related to improving safety at night? We’ve had a dedicated operation in place for a number of years now to police the Town Centre’s night– time economy. ‘Operation Govern’ puts additional officers in the Town Centre on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights when people come to have a night out in Croydon. We work closely with licensed premises and partners to ensure that Croydon Town Centre is a safe place for people to come and visit at night. This might be through sharing information, giving safety and security advice to the various pubs and clubs or supporting the PubWatch scheme. We’ve also made extensive use of Dispersal Zones and the controlled drinking zone in the Town Centre area, and will continue to undertake both overt and covert operations to tackle drugs, theft and violence in Croydon. As borough commander, what’s been your biggest challenge in Croydon and how have you overcome it? Regaining the trust and confidence of the community and stakeholders in Croydon following the serious disorder of August 2011 has been a real challenge. Whilst I think we’ve made great strides, I know that there is still a lot of work for us to do. For many, actions speak louder than words and I think that the greater numbers of officers in operational policing, and having these officers visible and available in local communities at the times they’re needed is helping. We’ve also improved our response times to emergency and non– emergency calls and we’ve invested more officers than ever in Neighbourhood policing. These officers are working to local priorities, tackling local issues. I think, over time, this approach will have a positive impact in both reducing crime, but also increasing confidence.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Stay a step ahead of online crime
In 2013, consumers spent more than £87bn online as mobile devices and tablets provided increased access to a new world of shopping with time to browse and purchase wherever and whenever required. However, before clicking to purchase how many people stop to really consider the security risks behind purchasing online? Cyber-crime, as it is commonly known, cost the UK economy £27bn in 2012 according to figures from the Cabinet Office. So how do you protect yourself from online crime? Check out our top ten tips of do’s and don’ts:
Always use strong passwords that incorporate numbers, symbols, upper and lower case letters and avoid using the same password for different sites Use a dedicated credit/debit card for all your on-line transactions Where possible, use online retailers/brands you know and trust For major brands, always go to the official website to find a list of authorised sellers Check the delivery, insurance, warranty and returns policy Be especially careful when purchasing expensive items Make sure you have adequate anti-virus software to enable your computer to flag any untrustworthy sites Exercise caution when using public Wi-Fi hot spots such as coffee shops and libraries. These areas are not secure and any transactions could be compromised Banks will NEVER ask you to confirm your
password and other log-on security details. If in doubt, phone the bank using the phone number from a genuine piece of correspondence or phone directory. If it seems too good to be true, it most certainly is! Typical scams Bogus registration: These may look like they have been issued by an official body using names such as the Data Protection Agency, and ask businesses for a fee for registration purposes Bogus invoices: Fake invoices sent to a business in the hope that payment is made. The amounts requested are usually small enough not to attract suspicion or referral to a senior level Bogus website registrations: Callers claim to represent domain name registration agents and say that a request has been received to register a domain name very similar to that of your business and they offer to protect your business name for a fee.
Croydon’s youth bus is in town Earning someone’s trust and confidence can be challenging at the best of times but no more so if they are young, impressionable and among the most vulnerable. However, that’s precisely what Croydon’s street based team of youth support workers sets out to do. Working with some of the town’s most at risk and hard to reach youngsters, they get out into the local community to provide advice, information and support or sometimes just act as a sounding board on issues which are causing concern. Part of Croydon’s children, families and learners department, the team parks its ‘youth bus’ in target areas, particularly where young people congregate, sometimes complaining of ‘nothing to do’. They also visit local parks to make sure youngsters have the support they need at key times, such as during school holidays. The bus is stocked with advice leaflets and activities including music, sport and games equipment, a television and a PlayStation. It also has facilities for jewellery-making, art, or simply playing board games with friends. In some cases, the team helps raise awareness about the wide range of activities available locally which youngsters can get involved with. In other situations the bus provides a safe and confidential space in which to sit and talk with the team about any personal issues. For the team, it is all about listening to people, supporting their needs and, in some cases, challenging them to think about their choices and actions. To find out more, why not swing by and check the bus out at: Monks Hill New Addington North End (Town Centre) Thornton Heath
Tuesday 5-7pm Tuesday 7-9pm Thursday 3-5pm Friday 7-10pm
For more information contact: Street Based Youth Team Co-ordinator on 020 8726 6000 Ext 60212 or visit the Turnaround Centre, 51-55 South End, Croydon, CR0 1BF
Don’t ignore it… report it
Got a beef about fly-tipping, graffiti, street lighting or a road maintenance problem? Now, reporting it to the authorities couldn’t be easier. Croydon Council has launched a new free smartphone app to help make the process of reporting anti-social and environmental crime, a lot quicker, simpler and more efficient. Initially aimed at Apple and Android-based phones, the ‘My Croydon’ app can be downloaded from the usual online stores as well as by clicking the appropriate link at www.croydon.gov.uk/app. Ensuring Croydon’s streets are clean and fresh for everyone to use is high on Croydon BID’s agenda. Working with its partners, the BID invests over £150k each year on cleaning and greening the Town Centre to make it more appealing to all those who use it. In the past year alone, over 55,000 square metres of paving have been deep-cleaned by the BID - equivalent to the size of eight football pitches. In tandem, the Council is urging people to get involved and support its ‘Keep it Clean’ campaign, by reporting environmental issues that matter to them. So come on – get involved. Download the app and get reporting!
Whether you travel by bus, train, tram or minicab, getting you safely to your destination is Croydon TransportWatch’s number one priority. A proactive partnership between businesses, the Metropolitan Police, Croydon Council and transport providers, TransportWatch aims to ensure passengers are able to travel safely and confidently in and around Croydon by putting measures in place to deter and detect crime and anti-social behaviour. Dedicated security patrols, high visibility policing and extensive CCTV monitoring are just some of the means employed to safeguard passengers’ interests. In addition, there are a few common-sense measures that passengers can take to improve their own safety: Plan your journey in advance as far as possible - make sure you
know your route and your stop Check the times of the last buses, trains and trams Try to wait for your bus, tram or train in a well-lit place Have your ticket, pass or change ready in your hand and keep your purse or wallet out of sight Keep bags zipped and all valuables secure Keep a tight hold on your mobile phone, laptop or tablet Look out for Help points and passenger alarms and don’t hesitate to use them if you feel threatened. They will connect you directly to a member of staff If you’re concerned about safety when travelling by bus, sit close to the driver. If you’re on the train or tram, move to a carriage where there are other people present Report any unattended bags, luggage or suspicious activity
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immediately to a member of staff, a police officer or use the Help point Stay alert: be aware of your surroundings and those around you. In a real emergency call 999 If you’re planning to travel by minicab, the only legal and by far the safest way to travel is by booking a mini cab in advance either by telephone, email or at a licensed minicab office. If you are picked up by a minicab that has not been booked in advance, the
driver is acting illegally. By law, only licensed taxis – traditional black cabs - can pick up passengers on the street. Booking a minicab in advance couldn’t be easier. Transport for London has a free Cabwise phone app, that can be downloaded from either the Apple and Android app stores. Alternatively visit www.tfl. gov.uk/cabwise and bookmark the page. For more information visit www.croydonbid.com
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Croydon’s crack down on drinkfuelled crime shows positive results Important headway is being made into improving perceptions of night-time safety in Croydon, as a result of increased efforts to stamp out drink-fuelled crime and disorderly behaviour. Town Centre businesses, the Metropolitan Police and Croydon Council have thrown their combined weight behind a number of important initiatives to support the evening economy and boost public confidence over the ability to enjoy a safe night out in the town. As a result, the percentage of people who say they feel safe at night-time in Croydon has steadily increased over the last five years (from 28% in 2009 to 34% in 2013) but clearly there is still a way to go. Croydon’s PubWatch forum was first formed in 2008. A voluntary, licensee-led initiative, its success relies on
effective intelligencesharing particularly on known offenders between the town’s bars, clubs and pubs with the Police and Council licensing officers. Such is Croydon PubWatch’s commitment towards raising safety standards in the town that in September 2013, it introduced a new exclusion scheme in order to deal head-on with persistent and serious offenders. The scheme enables banning orders to be issued against anyone found behaving inappropriately in the town, effectively barring them from entering all PubWatch members’ premises for a twelve months’ period. In the event of a serious incident, involving assault on customers or staff or drug dealing for example, a ban may be applied immediately. For lesser offences
such as drunk and disorderly behaviour, the scheme operates on a three strikes principle. Written warnings are issued initially and a twelve months’ banning order put in place only if the offender persists. Since the scheme was introduced, a total of five people have been banned from the town and some 47 warning letters have been issued.
Commenting on the scheme, PubWatch Chairman and local licensee, Esther Sutton said: “Croydon at night is a vibrant, exciting environment with loads going on. It’s now safer than ever before thanks to schemes like Pubwatch and our fantastic police licensing team. “Working collaboratively together is far more
effective and produces much swifter and more positive results than anything one business is able to achieve on its own. “Our banning scheme is having a real effect and sends out a very clear, strong message to everyone that Croydon takes public safety seriously. Irresponsible and criminal behaviour will simply not be tolerated.”
Croydon licensees savour the sweet taste of success TOP TEN TIPS FOR A TROUBLE-FREE NIGHT OUT
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Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach
Pace yourself by alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water
Use mixers to dilute your drinks
Avoid ‘rounds’: they are likely to encourage you to drink more than you intend
Eat something during the evening – it helps slow down alcohol absorption
Men are just as at risk as women as having their drink ‘spiked’ with alcohol or drugs without their knowledge. Never leave your drink unattended
Never accept a drink from a stranger
Eat before a night out or early in the evening Drink water regularly before, during and after a night out
Decide in advance how much you are going to drink and stick to your limit
Putting the health, safety and well-being of customers and employees first has led to 32 Croydon licensees being recognised in a nationally-acclaimed awards scheme, designed to reduce alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder and promote responsible drinking. For the first time in the scheme’s eleven year history, every entrant succeeded in achieving Best Bar None status, underlining the major strides that are being made to achieve standards of excellence amongst the licensed trade in Croydon. Launched in 2002, Croydon’s Best Bar None scheme was the first of its type to be introduced in London as a means of recognising and rewarding the efforts of those who run responsibly managed premises. Since then, the scheme has gone from strength to strength. Figures from the Metropolitan Police indicate that where the scheme has been implemented, levels of recorded crime have reduced by
between 18% - 44%. Co-ordinated by Croydon Council, the 2013 Best Bar None Awards were sponsored by Croydon BID and the Croydon Business Crime Reduction Partnership (CBCP). To prove they are worthy of accreditation, each pub, bar and club is subjected to rigorous inspection by the Council’s licensing team to ensure the business is trading within the letter of the law and has comprehensive procedures and practices in place to support staff and customers. Those that meet the high standards set, receive Best Bar None accreditation and are automatically entered into Croydon’s annual Best Bar None Awards which recognise the Best Pub, Best Late Night Venue, Best Community Pub and an overall winner, which this year was the Bad Apple bar in Park Street, Croydon. Commenting on the awards, Andrew Bauer, Croydon BID Chairman said:
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BEST BAR NONE 2013 AWARD WINNERS & ACCREDITED VENUES AWARD CATEGORIES
THE FLORA SANDES
RUNNER UP BEST PUB
RUNNER UP BEST PUB
THE CRICKETERS – HARVESTER
BEST LATE NIGHT VENUE
RUNNER UP BEST LATE NIGHT VENUE
RUNNER UP BEST LATE NIGHT VENUE
BEST SMALL VENUE
THE CROWN AND SCEPTRE
RUNNER UP BEST SMALL VENUE
THE MILAN BAR
THE OVAL TAVERN
THE ODD SHOE
THE BEULAH SPA
THE FOXLEY HATCH
THE GREEN DRAGON
THE MOON UNDER THE WATER
THE POSTAL ORDER
THE SIR JULIAN HUXLEY
THE WHITE HART
THE WILLIAM STANLEY
SOUTH CROYDON TOBY CARVERY
“These awards are a great scheme for the night time economy and Croydon’s reputation can only be enhanced by local premises successfully reaching and maintaining a standard of management which is nationally recognised. “All of the entrants to this year’s awards should be extremely proud of their achievements. Great strides are being made to ensure those using our venues have a great time in a safe and secure way.” For more information visit www. croydonbid.com
Overall winner – Bad Apple