Watford Business
Improvement District (BID) Ltd
Watford BID news

Bid takes on retail crime scheme


A scheme which aims to reduce retail crime and anti-social behaviour throughout Watford town centre has had a new lease of life after it transferred to Watford Business Improvement District (BID) to run.

Watford Business Against Crime (WBAC) is an information sharing scheme, which links retailers directly with each other, the CCTV centre and nominated PCSOs and police officers who work in the town centre, via a radio link system. Information gathered from retailers and the police, is analysed to identify crime patterns, persistent retail offenders, and those identified as ‘lifestyle criminals’.

The scheme transferred to Watford BID in April 2017, after previously sitting under the Watford & West Herts Chamber of Commerce. The BID has appointed John Hattingh as the new Watford Business Against Crime co-ordinator.

Retailers pay a membership fee to join the scheme, dependent on the size of their workforce. An annual fee is also charged for the rental of the radio system. Members range from large retailers including Primark, Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys, to small independents including The End and Repertoire.

Jason Lee, store manager for Repertoire, a designer menswear store on Queens Road, and newest member of the Business Against Crime Scheme said, “Shoplifting is a concern for retailers in all town centres and Watford is no different. By working together and linking in with the police, to share intelligence about convicted retail crime and fraud offenders, we can be more effective at reducing it.”

Watford Business Against Crime is open to retailers in and around the town centre – not exclusive to BID levy payers. Any business interested in joining can contact John Hattingh on 07732 009438 or email him: john.hattingh@herts.pnn.police.uk. BID levy payers can download an application on the BID Members Hub.

Maria Manion, chief executive of Watford BID, “Watford Business Against Crime is a natural fit under the BID, and reflects the other work we are doing to enhance the look and feel of the town centre. It’s self-funding, with all revenue generated reinvested back into the scheme. We plan to expand and improve it over the year ahead.”