A STATE-OF-THE-ART app and website has been introduced into Bradford city centre to help cut crime.

Shop theft, anti-social behaviour and low-level crime tend to increase during the festive season but businesses now have the new system to help tackle the problem.

City Centre Beat (CCB), Bradford’s business crime reduction partnership, has invested in cutting-edge technology to help members manage incidents of crime and spot offenders even before they enter a store.

The group, which includes retailers in Kirkgate and The Broadway shopping centres, Forster Square and other parts of the city, works with retail and hospitality businesses, West Yorkshire Metro, Police, Bradford Council, Bradford Business Improvement District (BID), the University of Bradford and Bradford College to share criminal intelligence and head-off crime.

It has adopted the SentrySIS crime management computer platform which gives members access to crime intelligence via a dedicated smartphone app and cloud-based web portal.

The software allows security guards, loss prevention personnel and shop assistants to search a database of known offenders to prevent them from entering a store before a crime has even had chance to take place.

CCB’s joint crime manager Steve Baker said: “We’re now better equipped than ever before to help our business members fight low-level crime and anti-social behaviour all year round but it’s great to have this in place in the run-up to Christmas, which is usually one of our busiest periods.

“SentrySIS is in use with crime partnerships across Yorkshire, the Midlands and the North-East and it is fast becoming the ‘go-to’ crime management platform helping the police, local businesses and national retailers stay two steps ahead of local criminals.”

The software houses an array of crime intelligence ranging from known and unknown subjects of interest through to vehicles which have been associated with crime and criminal activity within the area. CCB users can also be informed about historical crime incidents that have occurred in the city centre and further afield.

Dave Downes, deputy general manager at The Broadway and BID board member, said: “It provides instantaneous sharing of criminal profiles, photographs and details of who and what to look out for. Members can add incidents and alerts about criminal behaviour and we can pass that information straight on to the police. The system also allows us to share intelligence on travelling criminals with other crime reduction partnerships in the region.”

In the last few years, SentrySIS has proved a great success through its use by the Leeds crime partnership, Business Against Crime in Leeds (BACIL). Both CCB and BACIL, along with other neighbouring crime partnerships, will be able to share crime data and intelligence on travelling offenders between themselves securely and in line with data protection rules.

Chris Nriapia from SentrySIS said: “This is not only great news for Bradford businesses but for the region as a whole. The ability to link up Bradford with other towns and cities using our software now makes Yorkshire a safer place for visitors, city centre shoppers and retail staff who unfortunately have to deal with these incidents on a daily basis.”

  • City Centre Beat members can access SentrySIS via its smartphone app. For more information on joining CCB, contact Steve Baker or Steve Longbottom at citycentrebeat.co.uk or on 01274 722443.