Almost every UK business has been impacted by Coronavirus, mostly negatively. At Disc, we’re taking a hit too. But we’re keen to do what we can to help our customers through this challenging period.
In February we announced an increase of £5 in the monthly Licence for Disc for Watch Groups and Disc for BIDs, effective from each customers’ next Licence Review date after April 1st. We have now decided to suspend this increase for 12 months.
Most customers use Disc for reporting incidents and managing offenders in local retail and night-time economies. Unsurprisingly, reports of shoplifting have reduced by over half in the four weeks to April 4th and, reports of night-time ASB have slumped too.
However, reports of other anti-social behaviour have increased by over 60% in the same period. Much of this is accounted for by individuals flouting the government’s Coronavirus-related social restrictions. Another factor is the increase of ASB as a result of the closure of schools.
So Disc, while most shops and virtually all pubs and clubs remain closed, continues to be an invaluable tool for reporting anti-social behaviour. To support our customers, this month we have added a new Incident type to the Disc Incident Report form: Coronavirus-related ASB.
Indeed we have developed a Disc variant especially to support the police in their new job of enforcing government Coronavirus-related social restrictions. The new system enables them to address two key requirements identified by the National Police Chief Council and the College of Policing: that enforcement is delivered with a ‘soft touch’ – but also efficiently, effectively and consistently.
Disc, of course, isn’t only a reporting and offender management system: it’s also a powerful communications platform for sharing crime and ASB current-awareness with local business communities. During this period of lock-down, it plays an essential role in keeping BCRP members and BID levy-payers up-to-date about local as well as national developments and providing police and councils with a uniquely effective communication channel to this key community.