The scheme was one of the first of its kind in the UK and is recognised as an example of good practice by other town and city centres across the country. To date, it has assisted local businesses and recovered over £31,000 worth of stolen goods from offenders in the BID area.
A great example of partnership working, the scheme forms part of the Winchester Business Crime Reduction Partnership - an accredited umbrella organisation led by Winchester BID, which brings together businesses, the police service and Winchester Community Safety Partnership.
Liaising closely with all these partners, the Rangers focus on reducing low level crime and antisocial behaviour. Their presence acting as a deterrent, as well as the Rangers being a welcoming sight for visitors and playing an important ambassadorial role.
During the first COVID-19 lockdown the Rangers played a crucial role in keeping watch on closed business premises and offering reassurance and assistance to businesses which were open, as well as for members of the public. They continue to provide this service during the current COVID-19 lockdown.
Jane Bastock, Business Crime Reduction Manager at Winchester BID, commented: “We are exceptionally proud of the Winchester BID Rangers scheme, which continues to be extremely well received by the local business community two years on. We regularly receive positive feedback about the scheme from businesses. The Rangers not only patrol the city centre but have become a critical presence for a variety of incidents attending a total of 3,573 in the last year alone, ranging from responding to anti-social behaviour, shoplifting from businesses, supporting the Police and Winchester City Council, and supporting members of the community.”
Sara Howe, General Manager at Venture Security said: “We are very pleased with the Winchester BID Rangers scheme and the impact it has had on the city for the benefit of the businesses, residents and visitors alike. It is through the Rangers’ excellent relationships with key stakeholders that has enabled the scheme’s success. We at Venture Security very much appreciate the faith that Winchester BID has placed in us and the support they have provided to enable us to further refine the service. We are very excited to see what the next year of the scheme will bring.”
Kelly Venus, Vice Chair of Winchester Shopwatch and Manager at Pavilion said: “The Rangers are a valuable and useful resource to businesses, attending and assisting with persistent shoplifters and anti-social behaviour in the city. Their presence assists in deterring criminal activity and provides reassurance to both businesses and members of the public.”
Venture’s award-winning town and city centre security team currently provides a similar service within multiple locations across the south. This includes Salisbury, Basingstoke, Andover and Fareham.
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Businesses today face a growing number of increasingly sophisticated threats, both to their physical and digital assets. Therefore, making the right decision over which security measures and technology to invest in, is more important than ever.
Whatever size or industry your company may operate in, the damage and potential downtime that can be caused if you’re the victim of crime could be devastating.
At Venture, we are proud to be accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation and to support National Living Wage Week 2020 (November 9-13).
Covid-19 Wardens are to be employed by councils to help enforce coronavirus rules within towns and city centres. Security officers who are already on patrol in such locations, offer a readymade solution, while having the added benefit of being able to help combat some of the major challenges towns and cities are facing.