Hull businesses are joining forces for a new city centre crime prevention initiative.
The DISC project sees traders tracking offenders and sharing information to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
It is operated by the new Hull City Centre Security Partnership, which includes HullBID, Hull City Council, Humberside Police and businesses in the city.
It is already proving a big success after more than 200 traders signed up – and is now being rolled out to licensees.
HullBID business liaison officer Lilla Bathurst, who is managing the scheme, said: “DISC has really taken off. From 40 businesses which signed up just a few weeks ago, we now have more than 200 and the data shows they are using the system on a regular basis.
Disc users collect information about the criminal behaviour of ‘Persons of Interests’ and access galleries showing the most active offenders or those banned from their premises as part of a #Shopwatch scheme. Find out how #Disc supports shopwatch > https://t.co/h9B4V24hwr pic.twitter.com/llRNKZw50B
— Disc Crime Management (@disccrime) February 3, 2020
“They have logged in more than 8,000 times, reported more than 150 incidents and updated information on more than 170 offenders. In the past seven days alone, they have posted more than 25 instant messages about crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre.
“We are now focusing on bars and restaurants in the city centre and would like to sign up as many licensees as possible.”
DISC can be operated from a desktop computer or as an app from mobile devices. It allows participants to log information about crime and offenders quickly and to share the intelligence with other members.
It can be used to monitor developing situations and to identify regular offenders, assisting the management of exclusion schemes and updating members with news and alerts.
Natalie Csoppu, of Blacks outdoor clothing in Jameson Street, said: “Sometimes when we use the phone or the radio to report information there are other things going on to distract us, so the app is much easier to use.
“I’ve got it on my phone and within the first few days used it to report an attempted grab-and-run, a woman behaving aggressively and some kids causing chaos. We were also able to post pictures.
“The scheme has been welcomed by our management who have seen it work well in other areas of the country and we’ll be adding the app to our laptop so other staff can use it.”
Councillor Daren Hale, deputy leader of Hull City Council, said: “This is a fantastic initiative which sees members of the business community come together to fight crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Hull City Council fully supports this project, which is a great example of partnership working in the city, and we will continue to get involved in projects that make it harder for those few who choose not to respect our fantastic city centre.”
Find out more about DISC by calling Lilla Bathurst on 07719 519314 or emailing [email protected]