Winchester Business Improvement District (BID) is celebrating the second anniversary of the BID Rangers scheme, which was launched in 2018 to reduce business crime and help make the city centre a safer place for workers, visitors and residents to enjoy.
This November marks the second anniversary of the successful BID Rangers scheme in Winchester, which has become recognised as an example of good practice for other town and city centres across the country. To date, the scheme has assisted local businesses and recovered over £31,000 worth of stolen goods from offenders in the BID area.
The scheme is part of the Winchester Business Crime Reduction Partnership, an accredited umbrella organisation led by Winchester BID, bringing together businesses, the Police and the Winchester Community Safety Partnership. The Rangers, provided by Venture Security, continue to work closely with Hampshire Constabulary, Winchester City Council and other partner organisations to reduce low level crime and anti-social behaviour and to provide additional security in the city centre. The scheme was one of the first of its kind nationally, and is now often referred to as a flagship scheme that other towns and cities wish to replicate.
The Rangers are security trained and accredited and patrol the city centre as part of Winchester BID’s commitment to providing a safer environment. The Rangers also play an important ambassadorial role and help visitors with directions and are a welcoming presence on the street. During the first COVID-19 lockdown the Rangers played a crucial role in keeping watch on closed business premises and offering reassurance and assistance to businesses which were open as well as to members of the public. They will continue to provide a service in the city centre throughout the upcoming four week COVID-19 lockdown, following the Government’s announcement on 31 October of new national restrictions between 5 November and 2 December.
Jane Bastock, Business Crime Reduction Manager at Winchester BID said:
“We are exceptionally proud of the Winchester BID Rangers scheme, which continues to be extremely well received by the local business community two years on. We regularly receive positive feedback about the scheme from businesses. The Rangers not only patrol the city centre but have become a critical presence for a variety of incidents attending a total of 3,573 in the last year alone, ranging from responding to anti-social behaviour, shoplifting from businesses, supporting the Police and Winchester City Council, and supporting members of the community.”
Kelly Venus, Vice Chair of Winchester Shopwatch and Manager at Pavilion said:
“The Rangers are a valuable and useful resource to businesses, attending and assisting with persistent shoplifters and anti-social behaviour in the city. Their presence assists in deterring criminal activity and provides reassurance to both businesses and members of the public.”
Sara Howe, General Manager at Venture Security said:
“We are very pleased with the Winchester BID Rangers scheme and the impact it has had on the city for the benefit of the businesses, residents and visitors alike. It is through the Rangers’ excellent relationships with key stakeholders that has enabled the scheme’s success. We at Venture Security very much appreciate the faith that Winchester BID has placed in us and the support they have provided to enable us to further refine the service. We are very excited to see what the next year of the scheme will bring.”