On Tuesday, September 9, Bluewater was presented with the Safer Business Award by Action Against Business Crime (AABC).
The award is a result of a crime-prevention initiatives including the National Business Information System which links towns and shopping centres across the country to identify offenders from other areas besides Bluewater.
The AABC organisation is recognised by the Home Office and works with Bluewater, the Metropolitan Police and the British Retail Consortium and many others to reduce crime against businesses across the country.
Sandy Hobbs, AABC regional business crime manager said: "The award is criteria based, and partnerships like Bluewater must demonstrate that they have hit all the key targets. I’m delighted to say that Bluewater passed with flying colours. On a practical level this work will help ensure that persistent troublemakers who cause alarm and distress are identified and prevented from committing crime and anti social behaviour in the first place."
Fiona Campbell-Reilly, head of marketing at Bluewater, said of the award: "Bluewater is leading the way in crime prevention and the Safety Shopper Award is a recognition of our crime prevention initiatives. We all share the common goal of ensuring the safest possible environment for visitors and employees of the centre and I think we can proudly say that our efforts are paying off."
Chief Inspector Philip Painter, who is responsible for Neighbourhood Policing and Partnerships in North Kent, said: "It is a fantastic achievement that Bluewater has been awarded this national accreditation for the hard work they have put in to enhance the service they provide for everyone that uses Bluewater.
"To achieve this recognition, Bluewater has been working closely in partnership with retailers and Kent Police to develop new ways to ensure an even safer and more enjoyable environment for its customers. This includes developing new information collation and sharing systems, which has enhanced security and safety in stores and the Bluewater site as a whole."
In 2005, Bluewater provoked much press comment when it was the first retail complex in Britain to ban hoodies, baseball caps and swearing in its centre; which the centre describes as a bold move that set the safety standard and gained wide respect within the local community.
Bluewater in Kent features 330 brands, which attract more than 27 million visitors a year. For further information see –