As the Christmas shopping season swings into full gear, the Blackburn BID is working closely with Lancashire police and the BBAC (Blackburn Businesses against Crime) in the town centre to make sure the town centre is safe for visitors. Additional funding has been earmarked to provide increased support to ensure a pleasant and trouble free experience for families and to protect the vulnerable. These are measures being funded by levies from traders that are above and beyond the daily core business provided by the Constabulary.
Additional high visibility patrols will be deployed though out December at highlighted hotspots during peak evening times to address anti-social behaviour, early evening drinking, shoplifting offences and purse theft to provide public confidence and reassurance to visitors and traders during the busy time. Other measures include an operation called ‘Can Safe’ will focus on safeguarding vulnerable young people who may be engaging with alcohol, substance misuse, harmful highs and CSE matters.
The police will work with trading standards to identify pubs selling to underage drinkers and details of prolific shoplifters have been circulated to traders via the online DISC system which is available free to all BID levy payers.
Town Centre Sergeant, Nick Everett said, ‘Our main concern is the safety of people in the town centre. We are working with the Blackburn BID to provide a full package of measures that cover a family from leaving home, to walking round the town and The Mall, making their purchases, using the car parks and returning home by car, by taxi or by bus. We want to make sure that they are safe and their purchases are safe and the whole experience is a pleasant one.’
Other core police activity this Christmas includes personal safety and security advice for shoppers by providing ‘jingle bells’ for purses and phone and purse cables, a multi-agency operation to target shisha premises and breathalyser tests on the roads.
Harriet Roberts, Blackburn BID Manager said, ‘An important piece of the Be Surprised campaign we are promoting is around perceptions of the town centre as a place that people feel safe. Looking ahead to next year, we are looking at a variety of methods of increasing people’s feeling of wellbeing in the town.’