Logistics firms vow to keep crime low and tackle travellers’ camps on Northampton estate

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Businesses on Brackmills in Northampton have pledged to keep crime at an all-time low and to put plans in place to tackle any future traveller encampments.

More than 30 businesses from across the logistics and transport estate estate gathered this month to discuss safety and security with experts, local police and the Northamptonshire Countrywide Travellers Unit.

The event was organised following a travellers’ encampment on the estate in October 2014 when the estate’s Business Improvement District (BID) executive team worked successfully with Northamptonshire Police and the Countywide Travellers Unit to move travellers off the estate a week after their arrival.

Sara Homer, chair of the estate’s BID, said: “It is essential we work as a team and as a community of businesses to keep safety and security at the heart of our estate. Latest statistics have revealed that crime on the estate has remained low, with just 54 incidents in 2014, and last year’s travellers’ encampment was our first since 2008.

“To continue our downward trend and prevent encampments in the future we have now launched a new incident management section on our Brackmills website, designed to help provide incident advice and news for businesses on the estate should incidents occur.”

At January’s security event the Northamptonshire Countywide Travellers Unit gave businesses advice on preventing and managing unauthorised traveller encampments, with an emphasis on increased security and communication.

Other initiatives launched by the estate include a dedicated travel advice support page and the recruitment of volunteers, who will work with the BID team if travellers return. These volunteers would provide additional communication channels and manpower on the ground if and when standard communications were not available.

Chris Barker, BID project manager, for the Brackmills BID, added: “Working with our PCSO we are this month patrolling the estate to identify potentially vulnerable properties and vacant premises, with lower than desired security, and we will be working with these businesses and the owners and agents of vacant premises to tackle any issues.

“On top of this, as soon as we hear of any suspicious activity we send out an incident alert to all businesses and the launch of our online password protected incident management section will further strengthen our commitment to keeping crime low and travellers away from our estate.”