In February 2020 Lancaster BID held a BID Breakfast event attended by representatives of around 70 businesses on the theme of safety and security in Lancaster city centre. The event was supported by Lancaster City Council and Lancashire Constabulary and highlighted several themes which businesses agreed were the top priorities for action.
As a result of this event Lancaster BID worked with key partners to agree a joint action plan to take forward.
A number of initiatives have already been introduced as a pilot during the final year of the current BID term. Following a successful ballot, these will be rolled out further to bring additional benefits to the city centre over the next five years.
Key initiatives to improve safety and security in Lancaster city centre are:
- Lancaster BID has already introduced a BID Warden working 30 hours per week as a visible presence in the city centre. This role has already proved highly effective at building stronger links between businesses, security staff and the Police. The BID Warden is a key role in a multi-agency approach to reduce issues such as antisocial behaviour, shoplifting, street drinking and homelessness in the city centre. This role will continue throughout the new BID term.
- Lancaster BID has provided funding towards the provision of community radios for all PCSOs operational in the city centre. These are already proving highly effective to improve communication links between businesses, security staff and the Police. In the new BID term we will focus on further expansion of the community radio network to engage with a wider number of businesses and encourage them to join.
- Lancaster BID is a key player in the multi-agency Homeless Advisory Group. BID has led the development of a new pilot Street Aid initiative introducing contactless donation points in the city centre to encourage donations to a support fund. The scheme will provide a positive alternative to giving money directly to people on the streets and provide crucial funds to directly support individuals to find a permanent home.
- Work has already started to introduce a formal ShopWatch scheme to align with the highly effective PubWatch already operational across the city centre. The scheme, which will be formally launched in the new BID term will provide a GDPR compliant platform for sharing intelligence between businesses across the city centre. Details of prolific shoplifters and other offenders will be available to signed up members (FREE to BID levy payers) to facilitate a joined-up approach to reducing business crime.