Safe & Secure - Town Host Team

The Safe & Secure Project aspect of Solihull BID is a crucial part of the overall safety and security within Solihull town centre. The BID provide the Town Host team, who are the people you see every day in purple. It is a four strong team under the management of the BID Operations Manager, John Timms.

All of the Town Host Team are first aid-trained and can offer initial help and treatment to anyone that needs it, as well as being a vital link when it comes to dealing with lost children and vulnerable adults. The approachable style that the Hosts adopt means that businesses and visitors alike feel comfortable in approaching them. This all goes to help promote Solihull as a safe and secure environment in which to do business and enjoy a great visitor experience.

The team provide a vital visible presence within the BID area seven days a week covering core business and retail hours. As well as being a visible reassuring presence for businesses, employees and visitors alike, the team also engage regularly with all businesses within the BID area. Their remit is to ensure that businesses are kept abreast of all things BID and to offer support where needed.

Being a uniformed presence, the team are ideally placed to support retailers with identifying and deterring shoplifters.  Businesses can call on the team to conduct a walkthrough of their business if they have anyone behaving suspiciously. This has proved extremely popular and has helped reduce the number of thefts from businesses’ over the years.

DISC

To help support businesses in identifying offenders and share information on them Solihull BID provides access to the DISC app to all businesses. DISC is a secure online app that allows businesses to share details and images of offenders within secure groups, thus creating a strong network of likeminded businesses in the fight against retail crime. DISC is provided at no extra cost to the businesses and full in house training is provided, also free of charge. DISC further allows people to report ASB matters, begging, concerns for vulnerable people and Public Realm defects.

Loss Prevention Training

As an extra means of supporting businesses with retail crime, the team also offer and provide free bespoke Loss Prevention Training. The training is tailored specifically for the needs of each business and is delivered at a time convenient to the individual business.  The training is backed up with a Loss Prevention Pack which acts as an aide memoire following on from the initial training.

But it is not just retail crime which is a focus for the Team.  They also actively look for and report on any issues that surround the below:

  • Streetscene (Public Realm) – Ensuring that any defect in street furniture or paving is quickly reported to the appropriate agency responsible with a view to getting the matter resolved and protecting people from potential harm from trips etc.

  • Busking – Although buskers can provide a vibrant feel to the town and can enhance the visitor experience, it is important to ensure that they comply with Local Authority guidelines. This in the main is to ensure that there is a variety of buskers and that they rotate their location so as not to have a negative impact on businesses they perform outside of.

  • Homelessness – Unfortunately, homelessness is an issue that Solihull town centre is not exempt from and the team strive to identify those that are homeless and signpost them in the direction of all the support that is there for them. This is done in a sympathetic manner, with the team building a good working relationship with those who identify themselves as homeless within the town.

  • Begging – Begging is becoming an issue everywhere and the team advise those that are begging of the laws around it as well as checking if there is any help that they need. They will also try and educate those that give money that there are often better options and more effective ways of support than by giving money directly to individuals.

If you want any more information on any of the areas above or would like to schedule DISC and/or Loss Prevention Training please email John on johnt@solihullbid.co.uk