A business partnership initiative, run by Dartford Borough Council (DBC) to protect local, small businesses across Dartford, has achieved national accreditation.

After a two-year-long application, Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, a police-owned organisation that works with forces to reduce crime and build safer communities, has accredited Dartford Town Against Crime (DTAC), as a legitimate Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP).

At present, the DTAC membership consists of 65 local businesses, including shops, takeaways, pubs and clubs. The partnership is significantly different from many BCRPs as it is heavily supported by the Council.

The partnership has issued 36 Community Protection Warnings (CPWs) and Community Protection Notices (CPNs) to individuals who have committed crime against a members business or whose behaviour locally is unacceptable – effectively building cases against some of the town’s most persistent and prolific offenders, such as shoplifters.

There have been two recent police operations conducted in conjunction with DTAC, which resulted in 18 arrests, nine charges, and several members licenced premises were visited with both DBC Licencing and Kent Police Licencing showing and offering support for local Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) issues.

DTAC Intelligence Manager, Karen Radford, who also runs the Shop Safe Scheme to keep vulnerable residents safe, said: “I am so glad that DTAC has been accredited nationally. It has been a long two-year road to get DTAC to where it is now.”

Karen said she would like to see BCRPs promoted throughout Kent and encourages police officers to have an active role in recruiting new members.

The accreditation was granted following an assessment from the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships (NABCP).

In her assessment summary, NABCP assessor Sophie Jordan said: “DTAC exceeds the National Standards in the analysis of data, offender management and regular data sharing across partnerships.

“Karen carries out additional functions that protect businesses. Local authority staff can be accredited under certain legislation, which allows them to deal with members of the public on behalf of the authority to enforce certain aspects of local and national law, such as issuing CPWs, CPNs and Public Space Protection Orders.

DTAC Jeremy and Karen 2 | Dartford Living

“The support from the council also extends to assistance with publications and access to a wide range of resources that other partnerships can struggle with when operating alone. With its council support, DTAC is a sustainable and effective BCRP.”

Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI) is responsible for accrediting Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs) nationally.

If you would like to know more about becoming a member of DTAC, please email the DTAC Intelligence Manager Karen Radford, at intelmanager@dartford.gov.uk.