New Business Watch phone app scheme launched in Grantham

A new and upgraded Business Watch scheme has been launched in Grantham using state-of- the-art technology to make the town safer and more prosperous.

South Kesteven District Council is initially funding the scheme, working in partnership with police and the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce to better connect and protect businesses.

The scheme uses a digital app for mobile phones and electronic tablets that costs just £2.30 a week.

The app will be shared by the council-operated CCTV cameras and Police Community Support Officers as the quickest way to get police involved in any incident, plus offer a level of safety if there is sole or low staff occupancy in a premises.

A former analogue radio link, which has been in operation for 20 years, has now been turned off.

Cllr Nick Robins, SKDC Cabinet Member for Retail and Visitor Economy said: "We want to make our towns great places to live, work, study, visit and invest in, and we can achieve this through security, safety and peace of mind for visitors and businesses alike.

"The more businesses we can include, the more effective it will become. It helps to create a community feel in the town and ensures everyone is up to date with what is happening."  

The scheme has already been trialled in Bourne, with a clutch of successful prosecutions for public order and shop-lifting offences as a result and there are plans to roll it out in Stamford in the near future

"It should be universally welcomed," said Cllr Robins.  "It's an excellent way for scheme members, police and CCTV to share information with each other to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour."

For the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, CEO Simon Beardsley said: "We have seen Business Watch schemes operate really well in the county and we are keen to bring the benefits of this new technology to Grantham. 

"Business Watch does need businesses to get involved and the more businesses that contribute, the stronger the system will be."'

Members are in continuous contactand will be able to communicate information about suspicious or anti-social activity, although if a crime is being committed they will still be urged to call 999.

A major additional benefit is access to criminal data from the new Lincolnshire-wide police data sharing scheme, allowing sharing of a photo gallery of known criminals so that members can discuss possible banning orders.

Photographs and videos can be used in prosecutions, voice transmissions are recorded and text messaging can be used.  

Posters and window stickers will be displayed by Business Watch scheme members, alerting any would-be offenders to the risk of being caught and banned.

Businesses interested in joining should call Steve Jackson at the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce on 01522 846930.

Grantham Businesswatch_

Caption:  Back from left: Josh Pacey, RMA Security, Steve Jackson, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, Nick Pacey, RMA Security,  Mark Jones, SKDC Neighbourhoods Team, Cllr Nick Robins, SKDC Cabinet Member Retail and Visitor Economy, Paul Allen, InvestSK Head of Town Centres. Front: Grantham PSCO Marti Blackshaw and Angela Hind, Boyes store manager

For media enquiries: Email the SKDC communications team at pr@southkesteven.gov.uk or call 01476 406498 or 406440.