Over the Easter weekend, the second Safer Business National action day of the Operation Shopkind initiative was held in Stratford, London. The weekend’s ‘days of action’ were hosted by the Safer Stratford business crime reduction partnership and local partners from across retail, local policing and private security organisations and Stratford Original BID.
The national action days urge the general members of the public to be aware of the essential role shop workers play in the local economy and the need to treat them with respect, kindness and gratitude. Other key objectives to the action days are to show a joined up, unified approach from partners to ‘would-be’ prolific offenders in the local area that retail crime and violence towards shop workers is unacceptable behaviour.
Safer Stratford BCRP Manager, Alessandra Valencic said: “It has been fantastic to see how all partners put their corporate hat on the side for one day to be united under one common denominator which is to make sure abuse and violence are not accepted and are not considered part of the job”.
Alessandra also commented on the importance of reporting incidents to the police by saying “It is not ok to be spat at, it is not okay to be assaulted, it is not okay to be verbally abused day in and day out. But in order to put a stop to all of this, incidents need to be reported to police and intel on perpetrators shared within the business community.”
As a continued show of support for the national campaign, the SentrySIS ConnectLIVE messaging app was used by Safer Stratford BCRP and local partners for instant communications and intelligence sharing across the weekend. This allowed all stakeholders to track and monitor known shop offenders in the area.
Commenting on the wider retail crime reduction strategies in the area, Alessandra summaried and said “A clear message has been sent to all shop workers, security teams and policing personnel that we are stronger together and change is achievable. SentrySIS ConnectLIVE is now up and running in Stratford town centre and this weekend of action helped the BCRP kickstart its support with local partners.”
Over the course of the weekend, shoppers were also able to find out more about the Shopkind campaign from organisers including Crimestoppers, the National Business Crime Centre, National Association of Business Crime Partnerships, Safer Business Days of Action Steering Group and other local stakeholders.
#ShopKind continues to received great support from major high street retailers as well as the Association of Convenience Stores and the shopworkers’ union Usdaw. Shopkind has now firmly established itself as a highly visible known brand within high streets and social media.
Chris Nriapia from SentrySIS said “It’s great that SentrySIS can be part of this national initiative where violence to shop workers must stop. To know that our app and our wider SentrySIS system is being used to assist those on the ground help fight retail crime and anti-social behaviour makes us very proud."
The National Business Crime Centre, who is a key strategic partner in this initiative, have made available a variety of Shopkind posters, badges and branding on their website that can be used by retail outlets and those supporting the initiative. In addition to this, users can also download a useful guide to help reduce violence against staff.
There are further Safer Business National Action Days planned throughout 2022 across the UK where SentrySIS will be providing its ConnectLIVE messaging app for key communications at each event.