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Bishop's Stortford BID funds lockdown security patrols for the town centre



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Security patrols are back on the streets of Bishop’s Stortford town centre as the BID steps up its efforts to protect traders and support police during lockdown.

Members of the BID (Business Improvement District) board held an emergency meeting last week after the Government tightened restrictions from Thursday (November 5) by ordering all non-essential retailers, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés to close, with only takeaway or click and collect services allowed.

The BID funded the patrols during the first lockdown, from late March to early July, and decided to act again at a cost of around £10,000 after consulting its levy payers.

BID manager Gina Thomas with security shift supervisor Tumininu Olaitan on patrol during the first lockdown earlier this year.
BID manager Gina Thomas with security shift supervisor Tumininu Olaitan on patrol during the first lockdown earlier this year.

The board was concerned that traders working to restore sales in the run-up to Christmas could be holding more stock than usual and would appreciate extra security while their premises were empty until December 2, when the second lockdown will expire.

Members consulted Hertfordshire Constabulary as part of their decision-making process. Insp Chris Hunt, who commands the police's East Herts Safer Neighbourhood Team, told them he welcomed any additional crime prevention measures and supported the patrols.

He said: “We haven't had any intelligence this will be an issue, but burglary in the town can spring up with the movement of criminals, new crime trends and reduced opportunities in other usual crime types due to the lockdown. The other issue is prevention is not measurable – this is always a problem with trying to mitigate crime and generate funding.”

BID manager Gina Thomas said: “The BID is once again funding security during this lockdown period to offer reassurance to our businesses and extra assistance to the police. This is a great example of how we can work collectively during these times and offer a service not otherwise possible for our town centre businesses.”

As a result of the Government’s latest measures, the board has been forced to cancel some of its festive marketing initiatives, but hopes to press ahead with a Christmas gingerbread trail and sponsorship of additional lights.



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