SOLIHULL town centre businesses saw crime fall by 43 per cent in April 2014 compared to this time last year.
The driving force behind the impressive stats is a 52 per cent reduction in shoplifting at a time when similar types of crime are rising in other town centres across the borough.
West Midlands Police has been quick praise the work of the Solihull Retail Crime Initiative (SRCI), led by Solihull BID and supported by Mandy Platt and Paul Fitzgerald of the Solihull Borough policing team, for delivering the welcomed downturn.
The SRCI places an increased emphasis on preventing and deterring crime in the town and has developed a strategy that puts guardians such as the police and Town Hosts in the right places at the right time.
A radio link between retailers also helps to keep all businesses informed should any known offenders be spotted in the town, information on known shoplifters is regularly distributed to retailers and Solihull BID’s team of Town Hosts undertake regular distraction walk-throughs and help to guide stores in how to design out crime by improving store layouts.
As a result the partners working together in the SRCI, such as Solihull BID, Touchwood and Mell Square management, retailers, Pubwatch and Solihull Council are all making a daily contribution to reducing the impact town centre crime has on visitors and businesses.
John Timms, Solihull BID’s Operations Manager, who chairs the Retail Crime Initiative, said: “This is a fantastic result and makes all of the hard work put in by the SRCI members well worth the effort.
“Increasing numbers of town centre businesses are joining the SRCI to take advantage of the information sharing, loss prevention training and radio access that we offer.
“This means we are able to make it increasingly hard for shoplifters to operate in Solihull.”
Solihull Police’s Borough Commander, Sally Bourner, added: “Partnership working is absolutely critical, and Solihull BID is a classic example of this at its best.
“We all work towards a common cause of making Solihull a safe and vibrant community that the public feel happy to visit, work and shop within.
“The Town Hosts and St Alphege Neighbourhood Policing Team work closely together providing eyes and ears and a presence out on the streets, helping us all to reduce crime, bring offenders to justice and provide a trusted safe presence within the Town Centre.”