Crime has been dramatically slashed on a Northampton transport and logistics estate, thanks to a host of safety and security measures funded and driven by businesses on the estate.
Brackmills Industrial Estate became one of the UK’s first industrial estate Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in 2009, when businesses voted to pool funding and use it to tackle issues including crime.
The year before, in 2008, Brackmills was a decaying industrial estate, one of the top UK targets for criminal gangs for theft to and from lorries, an area littered with cars, muddy verges and road hazards resulting in fatalities.
Fast forward seven years and in 2015 crime was down by 60% compared to 2008, with 55 crimes reported in the 12-month period. The transformation continued in 2016 when there was a further 23% drop in crime, with just 42 crimes reported last year.
In 2014, businesses voted to renew the estate’s successful status as a Business Improvement District, again voting to prioritise safety and security and pledging ‘to work closely with the police to maintain a safe and secure working environment for business to operate and people and services to access and move around, safely and effectively’.
Commenting on the crime reduction statistics Sara Homer, executive chair of Brackmills BID, said: “When businesses voted to become a Business Improvement District we were able to pool funding and use this to pay for CCTV and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, our very own Police Community Support Officer, and a project manager who alerts businesses of any suspicious activity, enabling all businesses to look out for each other.
“Last year we also provided additional bank holiday security, funding extra patrols from a private security company to complement and tie in with the shifts of our estate PCSO. Our PCSO Ian Taylor visits and advises businesses and we regularly patrol to estate and flag up any security concerns to companies based here. Last year we were also determined to tackle a growing county-wide problem, the theft of cycles, and we are pleased to report reduction of thefts both of and from both vehicles as well as cycles.”
Stephen Mold, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, said: “This is a fantastic example of how working proactively as a community in conjunction with the police can have such a positive effect on reducing crime and making areas of our county safer for us all to live and work in.
“We all have a role to play in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour rather than simply expecting the police to be able to fix everything.
“The work the Brackmills Business Improvement District (BID) has done in helping to reduce crime so significantly is testament to what can be done when we all work together in partnership, and I’d like to thank and congratulate all those involved in this highly-successful project.”