Business Against Crime in Leeds (BACIL) has been working with city-centre businesses for the last eleven years, including retailers, bars and nightclubs, to make Leeds a safer place for people to work, shop and enjoy. Recently the award winning crime prevention partnership has expanded its remit to cover not only the city centre but also many popular out of town shopping destinations around the Leeds area including Armley and Bramley town streets, Birstall, Colton, Kirkstall Bridge and Crown Point Retail Parks. BACIL has also won a number of national awards for success and innovation in crime prevention and been asked to advise on the set up of many other crime partnerships across the country.
Out of town retail parks are a large and growing segment of today’s retail economy. Popular for convenience, breadth of retail mix and plentiful free parking, they have gone from strength to strength: largely bucking the recent downward retail trends, to achieve ongoing footfall growth year on year. Meanwhile, some of the other areas of expansion, such as Armley Town Street, are known hot-spots for crime and anti-social behaviour which the introduction of a BACIL network will help to tackle.
Sean Walker, BACIL Manager, comments: “The decision to expand our operation outside of the city centre comes in response to lots of business forums and asset managers asking us for support in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. We already have the expertise, the technical capabilities and existing contracts with many of the same retail tenants so this seemed like a natural next step. We have given all the stores signing up their own two-way radios and handheld tablets which link them directly to each other, to their park’s security team and to West Yorkshire Police. This enables them to share real-time updates on any suspicious activity in their area and to access photographs and information about known offenders to be aware of.
“The BACIL team has grown to reflect our increased remit and we are delighted to welcome the newest member of our team, Tony Kaye, who joined us in September and will be responsible for the outer areas of Leeds. He has over 30 years’ experience working with West Yorkshire Police and partnering agencies across the city so I am sure he will prove a real asset to the organisation.”
BACIL (Business Against Crime in Leeds) is a partnership body made up of Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police, Safer Leeds and over 350 businesses throughout the Leeds day and night time economy – including retailers, bars and nightclubs. The organisation was set up in 2006 to protect business premises in Leeds and make the city a safer place for consumers and staff. Since its creation there has been a significant reduction in business crime and the scheme has grown rapidly.