BIDs & Business Crime: A Manifesto

This Manifesto has been written on behalf of the members of the National Business Crime Solution (NBCS). The NBCS is a not for profit initiative that enables the effective sharing of appropriate data between the police, crime reduction agencies and the business community to reduce crime and risks to all. Discover more about NBCS. It represents around 50 of the largest major retail interests in the UK.

As the number of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) continues to grow (approaching 300), and funding from the levy businesses pay is estimated to be in the region of £100m a year, there is a desire from the business community to ensure that a reasonable proportion of this is dedicated to tackling business crime. The funding for these schemes is made because businesses want to create an attractive, safe and secure environment for customers, staff and visitors.

There is a recognition that the scope and scale of BIDs varies enormously; from those that have £multi-million budgets to those that rely on volunteers. In addition, the budget and resources needed to be dedicated to business crime will vary from place to place.

The overall aim is to make BID areas better trading locations, more attractive to customers and users, and therefore thriving places. There is also a desire from the NBCS to enhance the relationship and engagement between BIDs and many of their levy payers (NBCS members). The business community must be engaged at a local, regional and national level. The BIDs Foundation, the ATCM and British BIDs all have been consulted as part of the process in drawing up this Manifesto, alongside Revo, the ACS and others.

BIDs have pointed out how the reduction in funding available to local authorities and policing in their areas is causing their businesses to request greater efforts to address safety, security and crime reduction issues. But if BIDs fail to respond to this, it could adversely impact the trading environment and lead to business closures.

Crime comes in many forms and, as the recent BRC report shows, the increases in violence towards staff is a major concern. Retailers want their staff to be able to work free from fear of threats and violence, which is an increasing priority. Therefore, protecting their staff as well as their stock and premises is a major concern for all business who want a centre that is safe and welcoming throughout the day and night. Not only that, but finding ways to combat public safety issues such drugs, alcohol, begging and rough sleeping will all have an impact on the trading environment and indirectly affect businesses.

As Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC says,
The [retail] industry is going through a period of unprecedented structural change with increasing cost pressures, and these challenges have heightened the impact retail crime has on jobs, communities and people throughout the UK.

But it’s not just retail that is suffering. All businesses that operate in our towns and cities are impacted. At a time when Police numbers are at record lows, the business community recognises

BRC Retail Crime Survey 2017