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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
20th January 2021 Issue no. 541

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Facewatch is free! UK businesses given free access to Facewatch: The National low level crime-reporting database

Facewatch is now being offered free to all UK businesses, with a focus on retailers and the licensed trade, through Facewatch & Partners, a newly set up Not for Profit Company chaired by Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas.

Facewatch provides online crime reporting and CCTV image sharing directly to the Police and has been awarded "Secured by Design" status by ACPO (The Association of Chief Police Officers).

Facewatch was piloted in London during 2011, starting in the Victoria Business Improvement District and Westminster, which resulted in a 73% increase in detection rates of low level crime as well as measurable savings in Police time and costs1.

Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas commented,

"I am very pleased to Chair this exciting initiative which enables the Police and businesses to work closely together to reduce low level crime and help to make our Communities safer. The new Not for Profit company, Facewatch & Partners, represents the interests of all our stakeholders including businesses, Police, Communities and Sponsors."

Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, commented:

"I am pleased to support Facewatch for its practical use of technology in the fight to combat crime. The system is a catalyst for businesses and Police to join together; a great example of citizens and Communities getting involved alongside the Police."

Facewatch was created by Simon Gordon who was determined to reduce petty crime in his family's wine bar - the famous Gordon's Wine Bar in London - and was frustrated by the practical difficulties of reporting crime in a way that the Police could act on quickly and effectively.

Simon's solution was to use the power of the internet to bridge the gap between CCTV and the Police. The web based system, which provides a complete online evidential pack including images, moving CCTV footage and witness statements, was launched in 2011 and is now proven to improve conviction rates, reduce Police time, and help victims of crime by providing an instant crime reference and free cancellation of their payment cards through Card Protection offered by CPPGroup Plc (CPP)*.

*This service helps to reduce any fraudulent expenditure on lost and stolen payment cards and provides reassurance to victims that their cards cannot be used and replacements are already on their way.

Facewatch & Partners' goal is to spread the experience of Victoria BID & Westminster around the UK, firstly focusing on London, so that all businesses can benefit from this innovative use of technology to solve the problem of low level crime.

Simon Gordon, sponsor of Facewatch & Partners commented,

"My aim is to reduce low level crime rather than just fill up our prisons with offenders. To do this I believe we need to create a strong deterrent and the creation of Facewatch as a National low level crime database which enables all businesses with low level crime problems to be part of the solution, but at no cost to themselves, is a step in the right direction. I am proud to be the founding sponsor for Facewatch & Partners and fully support the objective of providing the system free to businesses and the Police. The more people who get involved in tackling low level crime the better. I hope that many businesses will want to join me in sponsoring Facewatch & Partners".

1 Met Police figures based on pilot 2011:
Time saved per crime reported through Facewatch - 2 hours
Detection rate 8.8% vs 5.1% - an increase of 73%
Circulation of CCTV images - 2 weeks faster than normal

Facewatch background

Personal theft, shoplifting and other low level crimes such as vandalism are expensive problems for business owners and the public. Facewatch is a proven internet based system which by empowering business owners to work in partnership with the Police allows crimes to be reported quicker, with the correct evidential information and witness statements, enabling the Police to start investigations immediately and enabling the business owner to proactively help the victim.

Facewatch benefits:

- Window stickers act as a powerful deterrent to would-be offenders
- Strong emphasis on preventing and detecting prolific offenders
- Online crime reporting using any device with an internet browser
- No special equipment required - a computer with broadband access is all you need
- Works with any existing CCTV system or even without CCTV for reporting only
- Perfect for shops, licensed premises, hotels and all CCTV monitored premises
- Image sharing in groups such as Pubwatches, Shopwatches, BIDs, shopping centres, high streets, retail chains and larger retail groups
- Direct link to local Police forces and appropriate officers - Police update the crime status throughout the investigation and can use the system for secure messaging between the business and case officers which remains on the case file
- Creation of posters showing images of banned or suspect persons for use by staff
- Full statistical analysis with key performance indicators showing Police status and success rates in solving the crimes
- Fully supported by the Police and the only system to be accredited by ACPO 'Secured by Design'.
- Creation of full evidential pack including automatic witness statements and crime reference online by the business user
- Free cancellation of victims credit and debit cards by CPP's Card Protection
- Victim and business updated by Police on progress of crime investigation by email
- Training and communications pack for business users
- Improvement in customer care


"I am pleased to support Facewatch for its practical use of technology in the fight to combat crime. The system is a catalyst for businesses and Police to join together; a great example of citizens and Communities getting involved alongside the Police."

ACPO President, Sir Hugh Orde

"We have to pull together to beat criminals and FACEWATCH is a brilliant way to form business and the Police into a crime fighting team. I not only support FACEWATCH but urge businesses to get involved and install the system".
Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor, Policing and London Assembly Member

"Facewatch is a great tool that helps us streamline our process, focus on the people committing the crime, and get to work quickly. If it was rolled out across the country we would see thefts markedly reduced and more of those people who cause this type of misery end up in prison."
Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens, Met Police

"Anything that saves Police time and can also improve the victim's experience has to be applauded. Victims want to know what's happening once they report a crime - so to be able to report a theft quickly and easily, and then track it online, is a real step forward."

Louise Casey, in her role as Commissioner for Victims

"I was most impressed by the Facewatch initiative and its effectiveness in tackling crime. I would urge businesses to sign up to Facewatch and believe that the scheme can significantly lower levels of crime in residential areas"
Councillor Frixos Tombolis, Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing and Property

At Big Brother Watch, we are always cautious about the ways in which CCTV footage is used, yet it certainly seems that Facewatch is taking a step in the right direction when it comes to using technology to secure convictions while at the same time ensuring that the privacy of innocent members of the public is protected

"Victims of crime will.... benefit as they will be able to pass details of their crime to the Police without having to wait for an officer to attend, yet can be safe in the knowledge that all the information has been relayed to the Police securely and speedily."
Graeme Gerrard, DCC Cheshire Constabulary

Extract from speech: "It is not all bad news though, because there is some support available to victims of crime provided by both the private and the public sectors. In the case of the former, there are instances of industry providing solutions in the spirit of the big society, such as Facewatch." 

Mike Weatherley MP, Chair of APPG on Business and Retail Crime

KPMG have been closely following the progress of Facewatch and are impressed from what they have seen. The innovative collaboration with the Police has the potential to provide real value and benefits to businesses, Police forces and victims of crime

Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas DBE,

Dame Judith is a New Zealand-born British lawyer and academic.
Born and educated in New Zealand, Judith Mayhew graduated LLM from the University of Otago, where she lectured before moving to the UK as a lecturer in law at King's College London where she set up and became Director of the Anglo French Law Degree (Sorbonne), the first joint degree in Europe.
In 1989, Judith entered private practice as an employment lawyer, rising to become Special Adviser to the Chairman at Clifford Chance, the world's largest law firm, before resigning to concentrate on her other roles. In 2006 she was appointed to the Board of Directors of Merrill Lynch.
She served as Provost of King's College, Cambridge from 2003-2005. She has also been closely involved in the running of the City of London since 1986. She was awarded the DBE in 2002 "for services to the City of London".
She was the first woman to become not only Chairman of the Royal Opera House, but also from 1996-2003, as Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, she was effectively leader of the City of London Corporation.
She has also served on a number of boards of educational and cultural institutions in recent years, including Birkbeck, University of London & Imperial College London.
She remains on the board of Gresham College, is a Trustee of the Natural History Museum, and a Vice President of London First and Chairman of London & Partners. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Otago in 1998.
In 2004 she was made New Zealander of the Year in Britain.
In 2008 she became Provost of Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln.

Simon Gordon, Chairman Facewatch

Simon Gordon founded Facewatch with a group of like-minded individuals in April 2010. He is Executive Chairman of Facewatch and proprietor of Gordon's Wine Bar, London's oldest, dating back to 1890, which has been in Simon's family for many years. In December 2010, he opened a new wine bar, Stokes of Stockbridge, in Hampshire. Simon qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1981. Former positions include Finance Director of The Skandia UK Group, Finance Director of Royal Trust Fund Management, and other finance roles in the City.

Facewatch systems accreditations:
ISO 9001

ACPO - Secured by design (Association of chief Police officers)

ICO - Working with Information Commissioners Office

Data Sharing Protocol: Approved by ACPO lead on CCTV

Strategic Partners:

CPPGroup Plc (CPP) - Card Protection , Free cancellation and reissue of payment cards

Refer to website for current list of partners

For more information please contact:

Jo Wilding - Media manager

Email [email protected]
T: 0845 437 9629

Website: www.facewatch.co.uk

15th February 2012

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