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Success for Ilkley BID’s anti-crime app scheme

L-R, Beth Wade, Craghoppers Manager, Sarah Brookfield-Almond, Ilkley BID Manager and Garry Wilkinson, Go Outdoors Manager.

An anti-crime app scheme that was introduced by the Ilkley Business Improvement District (BID) in February 2024 is proving to be a great success according to the town’s retail businesses and local Police Community Support Officers (PSCOs).


The Ilkley Watch scheme was introduced by Ilkley BID in direct response to the growing number of reports about retail crime and anti-social behaviour. In recent weeks, the scheme has helped identify persons under 18 years old who have now been given ‘Acceptable Behaviour Contracts’ and has assisted the PCSOs with the conviction of a prolific shoplifter who has been sentenced to five months in prison and a subsequent five-year banning order from the town.


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, as well as to the town’s PCSOs, enabling a quick intervention and in the case of the shoplifter an arrest and conviction.


Garry Wilkinson, store manager of Go Outdoors said: “Retail crime is unfortunately on the up in shops and businesses across the country but the Ilkley Watch app has given fellow retail staff the confidence to all work together to keep each other informed about any incidents of anti-social behaviour or criminal behaviour. It also sends a clear message to criminals stealing from our local businesses or abusing our hard-working shop staff that enough is enough and that shops must be free from the threat of crime or abuse.”


“We would like to thank the PCSOs who have put a lot of work into removing this particular criminal from our stores and thanks to Ilkley BID for this great initiative which is really helping us clamp down on crime and anti-social behaviour.”


Joanne Barrett, Ilkley PCSO, said: “West Yorkshire Police is very much aware of the concerns of businesses regarding retail theft. This is a nationwide issue raised by business groups with police forces across much of the country.


“We welcome the use of the Ilkley Watch app. We take retail crime seriously and we would encourage people to report it when it happens via 101 or online using the report it options at”


The Ilkley Watch platform currently has 65 active users including Mortens, M&S, Martinez Wine, Porters Menswear, Friends of Ham, Tesco, Boyes, Go Outdoors, Craghoppers and Mountain Warehouse, as well as Ilkley’s PCSOs. Since its launch in February, there have been 35 separate incidents reported and one conviction.


Ilkley BID would like all BID member retail and hospitality businesses to be united behind this scheme to help eradicate town centre crime and anti-social behaviour and is asking any business who hasn’t yet signed up to contact Sarah Brookfield-Almond at


For more information, visit:


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