Minutes of meeting 23rd March 2015

Attending

 

Jay Patel (WCC)

Keith Fraser (WM Police)

Lucy Bickley (BCP)

(also representing BID)

Sara Thomas-West (WM Police)

Andy Lake (WM Police)

Parpinder Singh (Safer Wolverhampton Partnership)

Sandra Cooper (MBP)

Anna Maria McAuliffe (MBP)

Sham Sharma (WBF)

Mike Shields (WCC)

Apologies Sam Duru (BBN)

Josie Kelly (A2B)

Cherry Shine  (BID)

Ange Lewis (Bootstraps)

Stuart Hemming (WM Police)

Claire Roberts (Women’s Network)

Mitchell Robinson (BC Consortium)

Simon Hall (BC Consortium)

Karen Samuels (Safer Wolverhampton Partnership)

Introductions

(Jay)

Jay opened the meeting and invited people around the table to introduce themselves.

He went on to say that the Council along with the Police and the Forums had been working towards the creation of a group to address the issues and problems related to business crime.  This meeting brings together key players to set the agenda for this.  The Council has £10k earmarked to support the activities of the group and that at this stage all of the work undertaken will be Woverhampton centric

Overview

(Keith)

After explaining his background in working on Retail Crime, Keith delivered a presentation concluding that the aim of the group should be to reduce crime and the resultant harm.  Addressing the “primo genitor” issues identified in his presentation could help to achieve this.

We also need to get the message across about the harm caused.

He pointed out that Business Crime is not on the local Structure Plan or the LEP plans

Action: Keith to circulate his presentation to all Group members

Context (Sandra) Sandra explained her role as the Business representative on the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership and said that in her view it was mainly about engaging with businesses to encourage them help themselves and each other and to create and join in self-help schemes such as Business Watch

Her experience to date is that businesses will complain but go no further.  She has been promoting joining the Wolverhampton South Business Watch on Facebook and has contacted in the region of 100 businesses.  Not one has yet joined.

Everyone seems to be approaching the issue with a “what’s in it for me attitude” and it is this that needs addressing by the group

Comments Sham volunteered to promote the agenda through the WBF and suggested that we could look at the possibility of approaching an insurance company to discount insurance premiums to members of such schemes

He also felt that one factor contributing to crime is the ease with which criminals can dispose of stolen goods and suggested that we should promote full checks on provenance on the purchase of any 2nd hand goods

 

Andy mentioned the challenges faced and in particular pointed tio the fact that many national companies don’t seem to get too worried about losses   It is almost as if they build these ion to their financial models

The group response to this was very strong in that we should be supporting local not national SMEs

It was generally felt that this sort of project will not have real legs unless the group is able to obtain some real staffing resource

It was agreed that the members of the group should lobby LEP and other funders to access funding to employ someone to work on the project

Action: All

Outcomes & Outputs In addition to funding an employee, we should be working to access funding sources to work on addressing the Tier 1 and Tier 2 elements (see slide with 3 silos) identified in Keith’s presentation

BID has a model they could share suggesting an appropriate methodology.  Lucy offered to provide this?

Action: Lucy

Conclusions ·       Any activities should be business led with support from the Police and the Council

·       The challenge is to find some model that looks at the City.  Could we use BID as a model?

·       Finding and funding an employed dedicated staffing resource

·       Need to set up an on-line portal

·       We need to find a way of reaching non-forum members

·       Recording at collating crime stats is an issue.  We need to find a wey to encourage all businesses to provide details of all crimes.  Perhaps Face watch or similar.  Note Dr Kate Moss promoted Notts Facewatch in 2010.  It now has 28,000 members with around 2,500 businesses

·       In order to make the group as inclusive as possible we should invite others to join.  These should include other forums and the Science Park

·       We should walk before we run and seek to set up and support one project and run with that

We need to get the Group (and its aims) on to the various funding groups’ agendas.  With this in mind there is a meeting of the Economic Growth Board on 23rd April and we should try to get this added to their agenda.  Parpinder will also provide dates for forthcoming WSP meetings and Keith and Sandra are to liaise to write a paper

Action: Parpinder

Action: Keith and Sandra

Next Meeting The wider group is to meet during the second week of May with a start time of either 10:00 or 14:00.  Mike is to arrange this

A smaller group (Keith, Sandra, Jay and Mike are to get together beforehand to plan the agenda for the wider group meeting.  Mike is also to arrange this

Action: Mike

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