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Bobbies on the beat as BID enhances city centre safety

MEET the bobbies on the beat in Milton Keynes city centre thanks to a new initiative from the area’s Business Improvement District.

The dedicated officers have begun work alongside the police to deter criminal activity, in particular to improve safety and to reduce retail crime and anti-social behaviour.

MyMiltonKeynes BID has also introduced a Radio Link scheme in which businesses can communicate with each other, the My Local Bobbies, Thames Valley Police and other security personnel in the city centre to deliver a collaborative approach to crime prevention.

The My Local Bobby initiative is a key part of the BID’s new Business Against Crime scheme. The My Local Bobbies are dedicated officers funded by levy-paying city centre businesses who patrol the city centre, offering a reassuring presence for businesses, residents, and visitors.

They are trained to handle a variety of safety and security issues, working with local law enforcement to address incidents quickly and effectively. Their presence aims to deter criminal activities and provide immediate support when needed.

“The launch of the My Local Bobby initiative is a significant milestone in our efforts to enhance safety and security in Milton Keynes city centre,” said the BID’s chief executive Jill Farnsworth. “We listened to our local businesses and, in partnership with Thames Valley Police and MK City Council, are delivering practical solutions to address their concerns.”

City centre businesses will also have access to the BID’s new Alert information-sharing platform, which allows businesses to report and receive updates on local crime incidents, share intelligence and find valuable resources on crime prevention strategies. It is a platform s crucial for fostering a unified community response to crime and ensuring that businesses are well-informed and prepared, said Jill.

“With the presence of My Local Bobbies, supported by the handheld radio scheme and the Alert platform, we are confident that this initiative will make a real difference to our businesses.”

The Business Against Crime scheme is a direct response to feedback from organisations that identified crime and safety as a key priority. By addressing these concerns, MyMiltonKeynes BID aims to support Thames Valley Police and Milton Keynes City Council in the work they do to ensure the city centre feels welcoming and secure for all its businesses, residents and visitors, Jill said.

MyMiltonKeynes BID funds nine Tap to Donate machines located around the city centre at which people can support homeless prevention services by donating electronically rather than giving money directly to beggars. This initiative, running in partnership with the MK Community Foundation, helps ensure that donations are used effectively to support those in need and contribute to long-term solutions for homelessness.

The BID also supports the charity Action4Youth’s Breakout Programme which works with local young people identified by teachers, social workers or the police as most at risk of participating in gang and knife crime. BID funding enabled Action4Youth to run the 12-week programme in 40 local schools.

“Our support for Action4Youth’s Breakout Programme and the Tap to Donate machines highlights our commitment to tackling the root causes of crime and providing positive pathways for at-risk youth and the homeless,” said Jill.


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