Addressing Rural Crime: How Disc is Making a Difference

Addressing Rural Crime: How Disc is Making a Difference

Rural Britain is facing a surge in crime, from thefts and anti-social behaviour (ASB) to more rural-specific crimes like livestock rustling, illegal fishing, and wildlife crimes. While urban areas have long benefitted from sophisticated crime reduction schemes, rural areas have often been left struggling with less support. However, Disc is stepping up to bridge this gap and provide much-needed assistance to rural communities.

The Rise of Crime in Rural Areas

Rural communities are increasingly targeted by criminals who take advantage of the relative isolation and lower police presence. Crimes such as fly-tipping, illegal hunting, and machinery theft have become common. These crimes not only disrupt the peaceful rural life but also have significant economic impacts on local businesses and farmers.

The nature of evidence and reporting in rural areas also differs significantly from urban settings. While urban crimes are often captured on high-quality CCTV, rural crimes might not be as easily documented. Additionally, traditional exclusion schemes that work well in cities are impractical across vast rural expanses.

Disc’s Expansion to Rural Policing

Originally successful in urban settings, Disc’s systems are now being adopted by rural police forces to combat this growing wave of crime. Currently, more than 500 towns and city centres utilise Disc to tackle low-level crime effectively. Disc enables the management of local exclusion schemes and facilitates the sharing of critical information among law enforcement and local businesses.

Three police forces have already integrated Disc into their rural crime-fighting strategies. This adoption marks a significant shift in how rural crime is managed, allowing for better communication and information sharing among rural businesses, farms, and even churches.

How Disc Helps Combat Rural Crime

Disc offers several key features that are particularly beneficial for rural areas:

1. Incident Reporting: Victims of low-level rural crimes can report incidents to the police more efficiently through Disc. This streamlined reporting helps ensure that crimes are documented and addressed promptly.

2. Sharing Information: Disc allows rural businesses and police to share images and details of known offenders, making it easier to track and apprehend criminals. This feature is crucial in areas where offenders might travel between different rural locations.

3. Alerts and News: The system enables the dissemination of news and alerts about recent crimes, helping communities stay informed and take preventive measures. For example, if there’s a surge in machinery thefts, local farmers can be alerted to increase their security measures.

4. Autonomy and Networking: Each Disc system operates autonomously and is administrated locally, whether it’s in a town, city centre, or rural area. However, these systems can also be networked together to share information across multiple regions, ensuring that crime data is comprehensive and up-to-date.

Success Stories

In regions where Disc has been implemented, there have been noticeable improvements in the management of rural crime. Police forces report better coordination and faster responses to incidents. Rural businesses appreciate the easy access to vital information that helps them protect their property and assets.

For instance, two adjoining police forces using Disc have successfully shared information about crimes affecting farms and out-of-town industrial estates. Another force has utilised Disc to address illegal sporting events in the countryside, coordinating efforts with other rural crime reduction officers nationwide.

The Future of Rural Policing with Disc

As more police forces adopt Disc, the future looks promising for rural communities plagued by crime. The system’s ability to adapt to the unique challenges of rural policing makes it a valuable tool in the fight against rural crime. With ongoing support and enhancements, Disc is poised to become an indispensable asset for rural law enforcement across the UK.

In conclusion, the rise in rural crime demands innovative solutions, and Disc is proving to be an effective answer. By enhancing communication, streamlining incident reporting, and facilitating information sharing, Disc helps rural areas combat crime more efficiently and effectively. As this system continues to expand, rural communities can look forward to a safer and more secure environment.

New Ask for Angela DISC Incident Categories Launched to Support Safety

New Ask for Angela DISC Incident Categories Launched to Support Safety

The National Ask For Angela scheme is delighted to be working with DISC to include ‘Ask For Angela’ incident categories, allowing DISC users to acknowledge, measure and look for trends of these incidents with much greater accuracy and detail.

The addition of specific ‘Ask For Angela’ categories is a proactive step to capture the occurrences of incidents like harassment, spiking, and inappropriate behaviours that have made people feel uncomfortable or unsafe, immediately offer the support they need, seek to bring the perpetrators to justice and look at any trends which could be tackled to reduce these types of incidents occurring.

DISC, launched in 2014, is a widely used tool to share information about incidents and offenders, as well as providing awareness of safety and security matters. It is used by local partners such as Business Improvement Districts, Pubwatch schemes and local authorities in 42 police force areas nationally, together with Security Companies, Retailers and Event venues.

Serving emergency services, businesses, and community stakeholders, DISC provides a real-time hub where incidents can be recorded and details accessed, along with known offender galleries, quickly and at any time, whilst adhering to all GDPR requirements.  DISC empowers stakeholders to report incidents and offenders, providing a tool where this information can be stored and used to pro-actively, collaboratively and effectively target crime in their communities.

The Ask For Angela scheme, founded by Inspector Hayley Crawford in 2016, is a discreet safety initiative allowing any individual to seek help from staff in an organisation such as a pub, bar or shop, if they are in a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

The national Ask for Angela Community Interest Company was launched in 2023 to support businesses and other partners to successfully implement the initiative. The website,, offers free to download tools and resources, with the ability for location or organisation specific versions to be created. Inspector Hayley Crawford is the scheme’s patron.

To assist with measuring the occurrence of incidents and the effectiveness of the Ask For Angela scheme, the ‘Ask For Angela’ incident log is further broken down into the following categories:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Unwanted contact/sexual advances
  • Stalking/following
  • Inappropriate sexual language/lewd comments
  • Coercive/controlling behaviour
  • Suspected spiking
  • Other

Iwona Kossek, Director of Ask for Angela, said: “We’re excited to partner with DISC to introduce reporting categories aimed at enhancing safety in our communities.

“Incorporating ‘Ask For Angela’ incidents on this powerful platform is a huge step forward in tackling incidents of harassment and violence and also provides a measure of the effectiveness of implementing Ask For Angela in keeping vulnerable people safe within our communities and providing the support that they need.”

Steve Lang, Managing Director of DISC, said: “We are extremely pleased to be partnering with ‘Ask for Angela’ to include these specific incident categories, so that we can not only record incidents but also increase awareness and publicise this great initiative.”

Sophie Jordan, Business Crime Reduction Manager at the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships (NABPC), said: “The introduction of this new category of incident to the DISC system is a welcome addition to this excellent tool. People who work in public facing businesses offer far more to their customers than sales and customer service, they are often the friendly face and reassuring presence that people can turn to if they need support. The new categories will also capture data on the invaluable work that teams in organisations across the country do to keep their customers safe and feeling supported.”

The new categories are available to use now via the DISC system.


About DISC

Disc is the UK’s leading online Crime Reduction Platform and Smart Phone App used by over 240 Business Crime Reduction Partnerships, Business Improvement Districts, Security Companies, Police and Event Venues throughout the UK. Disc is utilised to report incidents, Direct Crimes to Police, intelligence and to UKGDPR compliantly share information about prolific Offenders. It is also used to circulate News and Alerts to member Businesses, as well as having its own Instant Messenger to maximise engagement.

Disc was first launched in 2010 as BCRP Intranet, but rebranded and rewritten in 2014 as Disc.

For more information, please contact Steve Lang on or 07399 803292.

About Ask for Angela

Ask for Angela is a code phrase that people can use to ask for support in a discreet way in venues that operate the scheme. The national Community Interest Company was launched in 2023 by Iwona Kossek, Sylvia Oates and James Hoffelner, to provide free resources to enable venues to quickly and easily set up a successful Ask for Angela response at no cost via

Inspector Hayley Crawford, founder of the initiative, is the patron of the CIC.

For more information, please contact Iwona Kossek on or 07719 066639.

Disc Launches New Instant Messaging Feature

Disc Launches New Instant Messaging Feature

We are very excited to announce the launch of our new Instant Messenger feature, which will be released on Tuesday 2nd April 2024 with a new Disc version of 4.0.0. This will be available for Members to update from the Apple App Store for IPhone and the Google PlayStore for Android phones.

The new Instant Messenger will deliver a more streamlined experience, enabling Users to share important crime information quickly, easily and securely with each other. It will enable Disc Users to send text messages and images, as well as videos and voice messages to all other Members within their Member Category. All data is securely retained within the app, to ensure that there is no ‘bleed’.

This new feature of Disc now offers a very viable alternative to using popular Social Media apps for information-sharing and is totally free to all Disc customers. We encourage all of our Users to engage with this new Disc app feature.

Streamlined, effective, app-based crime information-sharing

The new feature will show all the ‘threads’ a User belongs to. From a thread screen, a member may:

  • See a list of (registered) Members who belong to the thread, by tapping the ‘people’ icon at the top right
  • View messages created by other Members
  • ‘Reply’ to another Member’s message, by long-tapping it and selecting Reply (replies are visible to every Member of the thread)
  • Create their own text, image, voice recording, and / or video messages (depending on the allowed upload types configured on your system)
  • Delete their own messages
  • Forward a message they have created to another thread they belong to, by long tapping the message and selecting Forward

Though a member may delete a message from the thread, and it will no longer be visible to Members, it will still be retained and accessible for a set period by Administrators.

Please note if a post is with regards to an incident, the new IM feature does not replace Incident Reporting and submitting a Disc Incident. Where appropriate, submitting an incident as a Direct Crime to Police, is still essential.

For more information or a demo please get in touch!

Addressing Anti-Social Behaviour on UK High Streets with Disc

Addressing Anti-Social Behaviour on UK High Streets with Disc

UK high streets are facing a challenge that demands our attention: anti-social behaviour (ASB). This issue affects areas from tranquil villages to bustling city centres, impacting businesses, disturbing local residents, and undermining community cohesion. In response to these concerns, Disc has become a vital tool in leading communities towards recovery and stability.

There has been a noticeable rise in ASB incidents across the UK – we can see the increase in our own stats at Disc. ASB incidents include things such as personal conflicts, public disturbances, and environmental harm such as vandalism. These incidents place an extra burden on businesses and community safety, resulting in a complex array of issues that generate fear, threaten personal security, and lead to economic losses due to property damage and the need for increased security measures.

Local business communities are navigating these challenges amidst an atmosphere of economic uncertainty, experiencing a decrease in consumer footfall and increased operational expenses. Additionally, the migration of ASB into public spaces calls for comprehensive strategies to safeguard both daytime business activities and the evening economy.

Disc: A Proactive Solution for ASB Management

Disc, a cloud-based crime information-sharing platform, represents a proactive approach to the management of low-level crime and ASB. It acts as a unifying platform, empowering businesses to operate autonomously yet share critical data in a manner that is efficient, effective, and compliant with GDPR standards.

The system enhances collaboration with police forces, allowing the community to handle minor disturbances internally while supporting police to identify prolific and repeat offenders. This ensures that police efforts are maximised where they have the most substantial deterrent effect on serious crimes.

The Impact of Effective Information Sharing

Disc transforms the landscape of information sharing among local businesses. It supports independent initiatives like Shopwatches and Pubwatches, enabling seamless communication of essential information across the community. This ensures that all sectors are informed and coordinated in their approach to ASB and working in Partnership with Police and Local Council.

With Disc’s Alert feature, emerging threats and repeat offenders can be swiftly identified and addressed. The system aids the police by streamlining evidence collection for Community Behaviour Orders (CBOs) and assists in identifying suspects. It prioritises police attention on high-risk individuals and repeat offenders, enhancing overall community safety.

Forging Secure High Streets for the Future

In an era where ASB poses significant challenges, platforms like Disc and the Crime Reduction Schemes using them, are invaluable in fortifying our local business communities. By optimising information-sharing, promoting collaborative efforts, and ensuring adherence to data protection laws, Disc is instrumental in advancing the security of our high streets. It’s bringing business owners, Business Improvement Districts, Crime Reduction Schemes, police forces and councils together for maximum effect.

As we contend with ASB, the integration of technology like Disc is critical in preserving the vitality of our urban centres. It is through such initiatives that we can ensure our high streets not only survive, but flourish, providing a secure and vibrant environment for businesses, workers and residents alike.