UKs Largest Ever Crime Reduction Initiative Launched by Facewatch and 16,500 NFRN Members

The NFRN (National Federation of Retail Newsagents) is to be the first National sponsor and official partner of the not-for-profit company Facewatch & Partners in a three year deal, enabling over 16,500 independent shops to participate in a ground breaking initiative to quantify an accurate picture of the prevalence of low level crime in our communities and take positive action to reduce it in partnership with police forces across the UK.

The scheme will provide all 16,500 NFRN members with a bespoke crime recording module, which will be a very simple way to record all shoplifting and other low level crimes as they occur, providing accurate and real time statistics on crime across the UK, whether reported to the police or not. Members will also be able to use the full Facewatch crime reporting system for reporting crime directly to the Police as Facewatch is adopted by forces throughout the UK. Facewatch can now be used to report low level crime anywhere in London.

The bespoke NFRN crime recording system will allow shop owners and managers to record an incident as soon as they are aware of it and without leaving their tills; as well as record data on the level of shrinkage that occurs and currently goes unreported.

Facewatch has already proven its effectiveness in pilots in London throughout 2011 to deter and reduce low level crime. For NFRN members who do not have CCTV cameras, special package deals will be available through Facewatch/NFRN partners.

Kieran McDonnell, National President of the NFRN comments; “The NFRN has been campaigning on the problem of retail crime for many years and I am delighted that we have now been able to take this leading role in bringing Facewatch, not only to all our members, but all independent retailers. I think this initiative will be a big step forward in helping members fight the menace of crime in their shops whilst at the same time equipping us with the statistical information that will enable us to achieve the level of police and government attention this problem deserves”.

Paul Baxter, NFRN Chief Executive, and Simon Gordon, Facewatch Founder, will be speaking at the Retail crime conference on the 19th April (headline speaker Lord Henley) about this exciting world leading initiative.

Paul Baxter, NFRN Chief Executive, says; “Since 1919 the NFRN has supported newsagents across the UK and our mission is to continuously look at ways to improve our members’ businesses and make our communities safer. As new technology appears, we see it as our role to investigate and introduce solutions we feel will provide benefits to our members. In these difficult times we have seen a rise in shoplifting, violence and criminal damage amongst our members. Facewatch is not only a cost effective way to record and understand the scale of the problem to help us present the facts to the police and the Government in order to compel change – it is the only scheme in existence which allows us to do so. We look forward to working with Facewatch on this exciting and unique product and are proud to be its first National sponsor and official partner.”

Simon Gordon, Chairman of Facewatch added, “This is the most exciting news we have been able to announce since we formed Facewatch in early 2010. Working with the NFRN is incredibly important for us as it enables over 16,500 newsagents and convenience stores to benefit from Facewatch and work together and with the police online to reduce low level crime. We will be launching the new crime recording system for the NFRN and will develop the product in line with the special requirements of busy newsagents. This interaction is of upmost importance as there are a wide range of different needs and requirements from every type of retailer and we intend to ensure Facewatch delivers a simple and valuable service to business owners, the police and the public.”

Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police officers said, “I am pleased to support Facewatch for its practical use of technology in the fight to combat crime. The system is a catalyst for businesses and Police to join together; a great example of citizens and Communities getting involved alongside the Police.”

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