Bringing people and communities together to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour

Exclusion Schemes: South West and South Wales

Date: 5 Jul 2012

Venue: Novotel, Victoria Street, Bristol

Partnerships Against Crime’s first regional conference an ‘outstanding success’

The first of Partnerships Against Crime’s subsidised regional conferences took place on July 5 at the Novotel in Bristol city centre. The subject was ‘Exclusion Schemes – reducing high street crime and anti-social behaviour’. If the attendance was anything to go by there’s clear evidence of a growing interest in the subject.

Some 70 delegates primarily from the South West and South Wales attended the event, but some travelled from as far afield as Northern Ireland and County Durham. Attendees were from BIDs, BCRPs, shop and pubwatches, local authority community safety groups and police.

The programme included presentations from the Association of Business Crime Partnerships on the the importance of partnerships in addressing low-level crime and their growing significance in the wake of public spending cuts. Andy Sharman, coordinator with Somerset West Businesses Against Crime described the work of a typical partnership – and the individual projects which SWBAC undertakes to help address some of the causes of crime in the area.

Tony Mernagh from Brighton and Hove Business Crime Reduction Partnership – perhaps the biggest BCRP in the UK – provided step by step advice on how to set up a partnership from scratch. He also gave powerful statistical evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of exclusion schemes.

Chris Marsden of MRS Communication provided an overview of modern two-way radio technology, as well as useful information on costings and how partnerships can use their radio networks to generate revenue. Charlie Newman from Littoralis – supplier of the BCRP Intranet partnership administration system – discussed the practicalities and challenges of implementing 100% online administration in contrast to paper-based systems, and how the two can run effectively in parallel.

The programme was rounded off by Christine Graham of the Christine Graham Consultancy who described the impact on partnerships of the Police and Crime Commissioners who will be elected in October, and of the government’s proposed ‘Community Trigger’ which stresses the importance of local involvement in addressing low-level crime and anti-social behaviour.

The event was exceptionally highly rated by delegates. PAC received completed questionnaires from two thirds of the delegates and each one, without exception, stressed how useful they had found the day. 90% of attendees said they would attend another such conference, they all said they would recommend the conference to others, and 90% said they rated the conference either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ in comparison with others they have attended.’

The Bristol conference was the first of a series of six subsidised regional conferences on the theme ‘ Exclusion Schemes: reducing high street crime and anti-social behaviour’. The next conference will take place on October 25th at a central London venue and the following conference will be on December 6th in Leeds. Further conferences are planned for Birmingham and Glasgow. For more information on Partnerships Against Crime and its conferences visit the PAC website at www.partnershipsagainstcrime.com Booking forms are now open on the website for the London and Leeds conferences.

CRP News is the official sponsor of the PAC series of regional conferences and editor Gabrielle Stirling is pleased to offer her time to chair the events. “It was a pleasure and a priviledge to be asked to chair the inaugural PAC conference. It was wonderful to see so many people not just attend, but to be fully engaged in the conference. If someone goes home after the event with just one piece of useful advice or a strategy they can implement – that ultimately helps manage or reduce crime or anti-social behaviour – then I consider that the conference has had the required effect.”


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