TOUCHWOOD has teamed up with representatives from across Solihull to work behind the scenes to tackle crime in the town centre, and ensure Solihull remains one of the safest places to shop, relax and do business in the region.
Since January 2016, the Solihull Crime Reduction Forum, which comprises key partners across the town centre, such as the Police, Council, Touchwood, Mell Square and Solihull Business Improvement District, has been meeting regularly to discuss all aspects of protecting the town centre from harm.
One of the first initiatives spearheaded by the Forum was the launch of the innovative Facewatch system, which saw all of the town centre retail and leisure businesses work together to share intelligence and provide an efficient communications platform for everyone.
Andy Cole, General Manager at Touchwood and Chair of the Forum said: “At Touchwood we have always taken a proactive approach to preventing crime and have worked hard to ensure we offer a safe environment at all times.
“It has been fantastic to be able to work so closely with key stakeholders across the town, to share best practice and create a solid strategy for displacing criminals from the town entirely.
“The Facewatch platform has proved very successful to date, as it means criminals have nowhere to hide, as their faces quickly become known throughout the town.
“We look forward to continuing to work together to implement new processes to ensure Solihull continues to enjoy the safety standards for which it is renowned.”
John Timms, Operations Manager for Solihull BID and also a Forum member, added: “Our BID hosts have done a great job in getting the scheme widespread recognition across the town.
“We will see it go from strength to strength as businesses see the value of sharing the information and the speed with which we can identify criminal behaviours.
“This will all seek to keep the town centre as one of the safest places to be.”
The Forum has a lot more up its sleeve for 2017, with plans to train hundreds of ‘eyes and ears’ across the town in becoming experts at spotting potential criminal behaviour and deterring crime, to ensure crime in the town centre remains at such a low level.