Dear BID Businesses,
Following the recent spate of anti-social behaviour being carried out by young people in the town centre, Chief Inspector Jon Carter of Sussex Police offered to take part in a webinar, answering questions from businesses that he was able to legally comment on. The BID isn’t able to host such a meeting, as we don’t have the technology or resources to manage a “live Q&A”. However, Ch Insp Carter has sent a detailed message that he’s asked to be shared with the business community, and the BID Team have offered to collate any questions to send on to him.
A few weeks ago, we sent an email to everyone signed up to BID communications setting out the BID’s response to the anti-social behaviour in the town centre. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, or haven’t signed up to receive emailed updates from us, you can link to the full message on our website here:
The BID continues to feed back the concerns of businesses, and to do whatever we can to support the multiple agencies working together to achieve a lasting result. Unfortunately, what we’re telling them isn’t always backed up with any data. To make sure those agencies have a clearer picture of anti-social behaviour in the town centre, it’s absolutely vital that all incidents be reported to the police through the proper channels, i.e.: on DISC for BCRP Members, through the 101 service (by telephone or online) or telephoning 999 in emergency situations.
A message to Bognor Regis BID businesses from Chief Inspector Jon Carter, Sussex Police
“I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to keeping Bognor safe. I totally appreciate that many traders in the town have suffered through the pandemic, and the last thing they need is a group of youths acting in a way that discourages people from coming into the town now that the shops can open, and of course the abuse and damage that is suffered directly.
We are actively targeting this group. The solution to this is ultimately not going to come from police enforcement, but we are working with the partners who are able to deliver the sustainable change needed. In the meantime we are actively pursuing all legal means at our disposal. I’ve dedicated a sergeant to oversee this issue full time, supported by a number of officers. Hopefully your members will have seen a noticeable increase in police presence. We are focusing our activity on the core group which we’ve defined as 6 individuals. These are being actively targeted by officers, and we are seeking Criminal Justice outcomes wherever the evidence permits it. We are taking the somewhat unusual step of pursuing injunctions under the Antisocial behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, which if successful will enable us to apply some quite strict measures to control their activity. By targeting this core group, my belief is that the others on the periphery will then desist as well. (There is an evidence basis to support this view.)
Sadly, as we are talking about Children, I can’t be as public with our activity as I’d like to be.
I am more than happy to continue to answer questions (subject to any legal constraints I may be under) moving forwards.”
If you have any specific questions you’d like to put to Ch Inspector Carter, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 14th May, we’ll collate them and pass them on.
Best wishes, Heather Allen
BR BID Co-ordinator