An anti-crime app scheme has been introduced by the Ilkley Business Improvement District (BID) to support the town’s retail and hospitality businesses.
Ilkley Watch is a free, secure platform available as an app which allows retailers and hospitality venues to quickly share information and messages to help manage and deter crime.
The free service, which is available to all BID members, allows users to upload images, share sensitive information and send messages quickly, safely and securely to other businesses in the scheme.
Ilkley BID director and Go Outdoors store manager Garry Wilkinson said: “We have introduced the Ilkley Watch app scheme in direct response to the growing number of reports about retail crime and anti-social behaviour in town. Ilkley Watch allows for instant group communication between the retail community and our evening economy businesses, allowing shops, pubs and restaurants to be pre-warned about individuals committing theft or displaying anti-social behaviour.
“Connected to the town’s Police Community Support Officers, Ilkley Watch helps our businesses to feel less vulnerable and to take preventative action where necessary, helping us all to manage – and ultimately deter – crime.”
The Ilkley Watch platform currently has 43 active users including Mortens, Martinez Wine, Porters Menswear, Friends of Ham, Tesco, Boyes, Go Outdoors, Craghoppers and Mountain Warehouse. Ilkley’s Police Community Support Officers are also signed-up so they can receive and view any information shared and take action where necessary.
Garry added: “Our message to anyone thinking of committing retail crime or displaying anti-social behaviour in our town is quite simply, think again. Ilkley is watching, communicating and has a united business community with a shared vision of eradicating town centre crime.”
Bethnay Wade, Store Manager at Craghoppers, is part of the scheme and says: “Following a recent spate of incidents, we needed something in place to share information between stores. Ilkley BID was quick to implement an intuitive and easy to use system which I access via my smart phone. It’s a great tool for the town’s retail businesses at a time when retail theft is becoming more of an issue and my staff and I feel supported knowing that we are part of an active network of retailers all looking out for each other.”
Ilkley Police Community Support Officer Shaun Taylor values the Ilkley Watch scheme and says: “We welcome the introduction of the Ilkley Watch app scheme as it helps retail staff and our PCSO team keep track of known offenders which in turn reduces anti-social behaviour and theft from the stores.”
Any BID member business wanting to benefit from the Ilkley Watch anti crime scheme please contact Lisa Drake on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Ilkley BID, visit: www.ilkleybid.co.uk.