Hammersmith PubWatch

 

A major component in the Hammersmith Business Improvement District – Crime Reduction Partnership (BID-CRP) is our town centre pubwatch scheme. Formed in 2007, the group consisting of 24 licensed premises meet on a quarterly basis throughout the year to discuss ongoing crime and safety concerns and how to ensure the local night economy prospers in a secure and vibrant environment. Key partners that also attend and provide continuous support are the Metropolitan Police and local authority (LBHF).

 

Partnership Support

 

Although crime statistics and incidents of concern are relatively low within Hammersmith town centre, the BID is committed to ensuring this remains the case and that all of our pubs continue to be great places to socialise. However, unfortunately the threat of crime in the capital is a reality and all of the partners involved in the pub community are successfully working together to manage identified risks through a number of ongoing crime prevention measures and initiatives.

For additional support, the pubs can reach out to the BID funded, police liaison officer. He provides a single point of contact and an enhanced level of policing engagement on a day to day basis. From solid and reliable advice to managing crimes, his wealth of experience and helpful manner is a real asset. Live investigations include a thief who steals mobile phones from tables (he distracts the victim and places a magazine over the device before covertly removing it) and a fraudulent charity collector who has been targeting the pubs and  harassing customers. Other recent crimes include a smartly dressed bag thief who deftly removes handbags from under the nose of unsuspecting victims.

Both the liaison officer and the Met Police licensing officer have been instrumental this year in assisting our pubwatch members, identify and ban a number of individuals involved in criminality within licensed premises from all pubs in the area for a total period of 12 years. The majority of offences contained elements of threatening behaviour and some also involved police assault, racial abuse, fake £50 notes and theft.

Crime Prevention

 

All of our banning orders and regular crime & business-related updates are available to our members through the digital software ‘DISC Littoralis’. DISC is the most secure and data protection compliant platform on which to share restricted information. It’s funded and managed by the BID and can be easily accessed on the web or via smartphone app.

The BID has recently been providing the pubs with chelsea clips to secure customers’ bags under their tables, UV lights to identify fake notes, additional radios and search wands for door staff to improve the overall security culture within the town centre and deter would-be offenders.

We have also been issuing community reassurance in relation to the recent spike in violence across London – see our Stop knife crime article – and offering advice on acid attacks

Due to the good channels of communication within the pubwatch network (radios, contacts, website/app), the pubs are able to highlight issues at an early stage by immediately sharing the information across the town centre and receiving support to effectively address the problems faced. The BID funded CCTV operator plays an instrumental role in this process through the use of the pubs townlink radio system and his extensive LBHF CCTV coverage to coordinate the policing resources required on the ground. His direct involvement has led to numerous arrests this year as well as securing vital evidence and images of those involved in anti-social behaviour and criminality.

 

Safer Places

 

A significant contributor to the pubwatch scheme is the LBHF Community Safety and Licensing Teams. Recent partnership initiatives include the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign - this is targeted at the evening economy and supports vulnerable persons who may feel threatened by a date or someone else.  Other local authority / police licensing safeguarding measures include the impressive ‘Welfare and Vulnerability Engagement’ training package (WAVE),  find out more.

The Met Police - Counter Terrorism Protective Security department is also an active supporter of the Hammersmith pubwatch group and they regularly share vital information and provide counter terrorism awareness training. At our most recent meeting they stressed that ‘although no direct intelligence is held from a counter terrorism and public safety perspective - the night economy remains a soft target for potential attacks. The threat level is not anticipated to change and is unfortunately a sign of the times we are living in’. Publicans were also urged to raise the level of security vigilance within their workplace and engage with initiatives such as Project GRIFFIN.

Although the core purpose of national pubwatch groups are directly crime related. The BID also recognises the value of supporting our pubs excel from a business perspective to achieve greater levels of financial stability and acknowledge the positive impact this has on customer confidence and in the prevention and detection of crime across Hammersmith.

The minutes of the April 12th pubwatch meeting can be viewed here.

Find out how HammersmithLondon BID’s security projects and risk management programme is making Hammersmith a safer environment in which to work, visit and invest in at: Safer Cities 2018 – Security Risk Analysis