Debenhams awarded Crime Prevention Award

Pictured above, Paul King, Regional Director, The Shield Group

The Debenhams department store, Market Street Manchester, was this year’s winner of the Manchester city centre crime prevention panel award. The GMP’s Bill Lowe Memorial Award, for Business Watch Coordinator of the Year, was presented by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan to employees from the store at the opening of the 22nd annual Manchester City Centre Crime Prevention Panel’s (British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) ) spring conference.

The event, organised in partnership the BSIA, GMP, Manchester City Council and Manchester City Centre Crime Prevention Panel, was held at the Bridgewater Hall and was formally opened by BSIA’s Chief Executive James Kelly and Paul King, Regional Director of UK’s largest independent total security solutions company The Shield Group and Chairman of The Crime Prevention Panel.

“The Debenhams store’s partnership effort to help reduce retail crime within the store in support of Greater Manchester Police’s neighbourhood policing strategy, as well as helping staff internally, regards reducing the fear of crime, make the store worthy winner of this prestigious award. This is a great example of how the security team and the store staff collectively, under the guide of John Wild,  played such a significant a part in helping deter crime. With the cost of retail crime up 36% on last year, it is important to hold up examples of best practice in the security industry so that other businesses can learn how to improve their security operations and reduce crime,” The Shield Group’s Paul King said.

The award was followed by an opening seminar carefully prepared by the former GMP Crime Prevention Expert Stuart Pizzey MBE, now The Shield Group’s Police And Commercial Risk Advisor. The seminar was put together with support from GMP, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, City Council and City Centre Crime Prevention Panel and the BSIA.

Following this, James Kelly took up the chairmanship of the conference with subject areas ranging from work against child sexual exploitation (CSE) and what security staff and anyone can do to watch out for CSE, from Detective Inspector Deborah Oakes and Damian Dallimore of Project Phoenix; Counter Terrorism Update from Dave Wells of the North West regional counter-terrorism unit; and Victoria Price of SelectaDNA, on use of forensic marking products.

As at previous events, the audience were security specialists and from Manchester general businesses, who could also visit an exhibition floor with exhibitors covering electronic and physical security products, bodies such as the SIA and a team from GMP representing the We Stand Together initiative aimed at tackling Hate Crimes and Racism.

Paul King, recently appointed Chairman of the Crime Prevention Panel, said, “This Panel Event with BSIA support (BSIA conference) is a fantastic example of where public and private bodies are working together in in the interest of the local community here in Manchester. The Shield Group’s involvement in such initiatives reaffirms our commitment to play our part in combating crime in the North West region”.

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