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PCC announces funding to prevent retail crime

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Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner has procured the use of Disc for retailers across the Thames Valley in an effort to reduce and prevent retail crime.

Disc is an online information-sharing platform which is available both online and as an app to help retailers report and access information about crime.

The platform, which has been procured by the Office of the Police and Commissioner, will be made available free of charge to retailers, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs) across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes.

Matthew said: “Over recent months I have been engaging with retailers across the Thames Valley to understand the challenges they face with regards to retail crime.  

“Retail crime has a profound impact on staff, customers and the wider economy. However, it remains significantly underreported both in Thames Valley and across the country.

“With the implementation of Disc, we will make reporting retail crime easier and more efficient. The ease of information sharing between retailers themselves and directly with the police will make a difference to the security and confidence of businesses with increased intelligence supporting a more targeted policing response.   

“I am continuing to engage retailers on how business and policing can better work together to tackle these issues and I’m currently developing a wider retail strategy, of which Disc forms a part, to deliver a more visible, targeted and robust response.”

Disc, which can be accessed as an app or in desktop form, also includes details of known offenders and has an alert system where retailers can send and receive email alerts about any immediate threats. Critically, the system makes reporting to the police faster and more efficient – users can submit a crime report directly through the platform, removing the need to call 101.

The information submitted to the platform can support the police with increased intelligence, helping them target hotspot areas and known offenders as well as identifying possible local trends.

The system will be rolled out over the coming month, with details of how businesses can sign up to be published shortly.