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Anti-crime In Slough

by msecadm4921

Founded in 1920, the Slough Trading Estate is one of the largest business parks in Europe, covering some 200 hectares and housing just over 700,000 square metres of business premises.

It has proved very popular with large, international, blue chip companies, and now has more than 450 occupants, all of which are serviced by a range of facilities including shops, banks, a fitness centre, post office and even a medical centre.

In past years, the trading estate has suffered from crime as seen in most business districts and this became a concern for its local business community. The whole issue of crime has, however, been effectively dealt with by the estate?s owner Slough Estates. In 1994, it set up a Business Watch scheme to combat crime and advise local businesses on security. At the same time, it formed a close and ongoing working partnership with guarding firm Reliance Security. The key aim was to deter crime across the estate, and provide local businesses with as much support as possible, as quickly as possible, in the event of an incident.

Initially, Reliance was tasked with patrolling the estate using one vehicle – Slough Estates Mobile, a dedicated vehicle, funded by Slough Estates – and offering occupants immediate assistance in the event of a criminal activity. The popularity and effectiveness of this approach proved such that, in no time at all, the fleet was expanded to encompass another three vehicles. But the solution developed by Reliance, Slough Estates Business Watch and the police did not stop here. CCTV cameras were installed on the estate in 2001 and the security company started providing a 24×7 monitoring service from a control room at Business Watch?s premises on the estate. This meant that as soon as a criminal activity was caught on camera, the Business Watch patrol service was immediately informed, ensuring that it could respond quickly to the incident.

CCTV monitoring of the trading estate also brought new opportunities to work closely with police in the apprehension of offenders. Earlier this year, Reliance and Business Watch joined forces with Thames Valley Police (TVP) in an initiative which involved sharing information about, and pictures of, incidents caught on camera with four undercover police officers. This enabled the officers to react quickly to crimes, and resulted in more arrests, while also helping them with their investigations and providing valuable evidence. The crime-fighting initiative has achieved particularly positive results on the Bath Road Retail Park, which became monitored by CCTV for the first time in April 2002. It witnessed a 80pc decrease in car crimes during the year and not one incident has taken place there since July 2002.

“This time last year, the retail park?s customers were at risk,” said John Devine, Manager of Slough Estates Business Watch. “Thanks to the efforts of Reliance, who have monitored the estate and reacted to incidents, professionally and positively, and TVP, we have achieved an enormous breakthrough in crime reduction.”

The future

In the last nine years, the partnership between Reliance Security Services, Slough Estates Business Watch and the local police has been instrumental in reducing crime on the Slough Trading Estate, the partners say. Indeed, the results have been such that Slough Estates Business Watch has gained Home Office recognition, and is now regarded as a role model for other Business Watch schemes. The partnership between Reliance and Slough Estates Business Watch now looks set to develop and evolve. Additional security resources are planned this year to monitor the estate and provide greater mobile response.

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