Online platform to be launched in fight against retail crime across Thames Valley
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A new online information-sharing platform is being launched in an effort to reduce and prevent retail crime across Thames Valley.
Matthew Barber, Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, has procured funding for the Disc scheme, which will also available as an app, to help retailers report and access information about crime.
The scheme will be available free of charge to retailers, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs) across Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire.
Mr Barber said: “Over recent months I have been engaging with retailers across the Thames Valley to understand the challenges they face with regards to retail crime.
“Retail crime has a profound impact on staff, customers and the wider economy. However, it remains significantly underreported both in Thames Valley and across the country.
“With the implementation of Disc, we will make reporting retail crime easier and more efficient. The ease of information sharing between retailers themselves and directly with the police will make a difference to the security and confidence of businesses with increased intelligence supporting a more targeted policing response.
“I am continuing to engage retailers on how business and policing can better work together to tackle these issues and I’m currently developing a wider retail strategy, of which Disc forms a part, to deliver a more visible, targeted and robust response.”
Disc, which can be accessed as an app or in desktop form, also includes details of known offenders and has an alert system where retailers can send and receive email alerts about any immediate threats. Critically, the system makes reporting to the police faster and more efficient – users can submit a crime report directly through the platform, removing the need to call 101.
The information submitted to the platform will help support the police with increased intelligence, helping them target hotspot areas and known offenders as well as identifying possible local trends.
The system is due to be rolled out over the coming month, with details of how businesses can sign up to be published shortly.