Crime intelligence sharing app launched in Northampton to stop begging and street drinking

A new crime reporting app to help crack down on anti-social behaviour in Northampton town centre has been launched.

Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 6:29 pm
Town centre businesses gathered in Northampton for the NTARS official launch.

The app has been commissioned and funded by Northampton town centre Business Improvement District (BID) to help businesses share and report both anti-social behaviour (ASB) and ‘low level crime’ - including rough sleeping, begging, street drinking, graffiti and fly-tipping.

The app is being managed by the Northampton Retail Crime Initiative, part of the Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership (NBCP).

It was funded by the BID and developed in partnership with Northampton Borough Council, Northamptonshire Police and Pubwatch.

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The app, known as NTARS (Northampton Town Anti-Social Behaviour Reporting Scheme), allows reports about incidents to be monitored and managed by the Retail Crime Initiative and passed directly through to Northampton Borough Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team, enabling better evidence to be gathered, cases to be built and action taken.

Businesses can also make direct reports about fly-tipping and other ‘street scene issues’ direct to Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council.

Mark Mullen, BID operations manager, said: “According to official statistics ASB in Northampton town centre is on the decline, but that is not what businesses are experiencing or telling us.

“Rough sleepers, street drinkers and encampments on public and private land have become a major detraction for customers and visitors and, if we do not act, these will have a negative effect on growth and future investment.”

Paul Whitworth, chairman of Northampton Business Crime Partnership, said: “The NBCP is very excited to be involved in this project with our partners to help shape Northampton Town Centre to become a far better place to visit, shop and work.

"It is in everyone’s best interests to fully use and develop this scheme to its full potential and by working together we can really make a difference.”

Councillor Anna King, Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for community safety and engagement, said: “While Northampton town centre has achieved the purple flag award for two years running for a safe and pleasant environment, some issues remain which need to be tackled.

“We funded two additional police offers over the summer period in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour, with increased patrols and enforcement.

“This activity was very successful but having traders across the town centre acting as our eyes and ears will really help us build on that activity.”