Business Improvement Districts go online with Facewatch to reduce city centre crime
Facewatch, the successful crime reporting systems that enables businesses and city centre CCTV operators to report crime directly to the Police, is being recommended by the British Bids Association to all BIDs across the UK as the best tool to reduce crime and make city centre’s safer.
Dr. Julie Grail, Chief Executive of British BIDs
"We are delighted to introduce Facewatch as a new Bb (British Bids) Commercial Partner alongside Boots; Jones Lang LaSalle and Santander among others. Rapidly modernising the way crime is reported across the country and providing integrated online systems will prove of immense value to BIDs across Britain who are doing a tremendous job in improving our city centres."
British BIDs is leading the way on the development, management, renewal and evolution of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Britain. BIDs are business-led partnerships focused on improving and enhancing commercial areas including town and city centres, commercial locations and industrial estates.
Launched in 2010 with the Victoria BID and most recently adopted by the Waterloo Quarter BID, Facewatch is already used by the biggest BIDs in the UK along with a further 6,000 businesses. Facewatch has recently been upgraded to include the very latest social media tools. The new system will be made available free and with full training for the first twelve months of use by any BID.
The new social media additions to Facewatch make the system especially useful for the management and control of information by BIDS and Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRP) who are working closely with city centre businesses and the Police. All members are able to confidentially share and alert members to incidents and highlight individuals that are known offenders in real time using internet tools which provide the ease of use we have all come accustomed to but in a completely secure, confidential and trackable way, fully compliant with Data Protection rules. The system means that the overt use of radio communications, especially in the night time economy, is reduced and a more discreet range of deterrents using smartphone technology can be used to ensure bad behaviour and petty crime is managed and ultimately reduced.
Ruth Duston, Chief Executive Victoria Business Improvement District
"Victoria BID was the first to see the potential of Facewatch and we have been working with Simon and his team since the very start in 2010. We have seen and contributed to the system development to get it to where it is today and are convinced that this will make our Communities safer over the coming years. I would commend Facewatch to anyone who genuinely wants to make a difference and particularly BIDs who are in an excellent position to improve their local areas."
Helen Santer, Chief Executive Waterloo Quarter Business Improvement District
"We have already taken advantage of this offer and signed up to take Facewatch having seen the new system and what it can offer us as a BID by showing our members how we have added value and how we are making our BID area safer. We are looking forward to making major improvements to the safety of the Waterloo Quarter and getting the most out of our relationship with the police as a result."
In 2012 Facewatch launched of the first mobile phone App (Facewatch ID) providing the public with a location based search and identification system for police supplied pictures of wanted individuals. This system has already provided with Metropolitan police, Surrey police and Northampton police with over 250 positive identifications.
In just 2 years Facewatch has been adopted by many UK police forces, including the Metropolitan Police, the British Transport Police, and the Northamptonshire, Surrey and West Midlands Police forces with around 11 more forces committed to joining soon. Facewatch also works in partnership with Crimestoppers and is imminently launching in Australia and the USA.
Simon Gordon, Chairman of Facewatch
“From its early beginnings as a simple way for businesses to report low level crime with CCTV evidence directly to the Police, Facewatch has evolved into a confidential communications platform leveraging the very latest in internet technology. With the focus on creating crime free and community focused city areas, BIDS will find Facewatch the ideal tool to communicate easily with all the agencies involved and as an already established solution, used by many police forces, acceptance will be quick and effective”.
Note to editors:
British BIDs is the voice for BIDs and is focused on delivering quality services and standards to the BID industry. www.Britishbids.info
- Online crime reporting using any device with an internet browser
- No special equipment required – a computer with broadband access is all you need
- Works with any existing CCTV system or even without CCTV for reporting only
- Perfect for shops, licensed premises, hotels and all CCTV monitored premises
- Image sharing in groups such as Pubwatches, Shopwatches, BIDs, shopping centres, high streets, retail chains and larger retail groups
- Direct link to local police forces and appropriate officers – police update the crime status throughout the investigation and can use the system for secure messaging between the business and case officers which remains on the case file
- Creation of posters showing images of banned or suspect persons for use by staff
- Full statistical analysis with key performance indicators showing police status and success rates in solving the crimes
- Creation of full evidential pack including automatic witness statements and crime reference online by the business user
- Free cancellation of victim’s credit and debit cards
- Victim and business updated by police on progress of crime investigation by email
Facewatch systems accreditations:
ACPO – Secured by design (Association of chief Police officers)
Fully data protection compliant
What is Facewatch?
Facewatch is the first online crime reporting and communications system using social media and mobile tools to enable the public, businesses and the police to work together to beat crime.
What makes Facewatch different and unique?
Facewatch provides a single cloud based resource that enables suspects’ images, moving CCTV evidence and paperless automated witness statements to be uploaded by businesses to the police through one simple interface via any internet connected device. This open system approach gives businesses, the public and the police an open but highly secure platform to enable faster and more effective crime management and communications.
What other products have been developed by the organisation?
The new version of Facewatch is now live following a 7 month total re-write. The new system is based around latest social media models and the Facewatch IT team have created a secure messaging and reporting system based totally around individual users so they see the information they want immediately. The system has been written with a full set of Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) so that any other system can be linked to if and vice versa. This achieves the Facewatch goal of being an “open” platform that anyone appropriated vetted can use to launch Apps for or integrate into their systems where this is allowed under the Data protection legislation.
Facewatch launched a mobile phone App (Facewatch ID) in partnership with the MET police, City of London police and British Transport Police in June 2012 to enable the public to identify images of suspects by postcode in the London area. There have been over 63,000 downloads of the App and 9m image views already with hundreds of ID's. The App is now being made available to all Police forces and has recently been launched in Surrey, West Midlands and Northampton with more to follow shortly.
What changes does Facewatch make to society?
Trials in London have shown that Facewatch acts as a strong deterrent to low level crime. Police are able to view CCTV evidence instantly and information can be shared between businesses instantly. Police will save hundreds of millions of pounds of wasted administrative time so they can concentrate on catching and prosecuting offenders.
At its heart Facewatch creates online communities that work together to improve our safety and security.
For more information please contact:
Simon Gordon, Facewatch Chairman
Mob: 07824 440265
Office: 020 7930 3225
Stuart Greenfield – PR Consultant
T: 07788 662697