Crime and Security Forum

WeAreWaterloo hosted a Crime and Security Forum in July to explore the impact of crime to businesses in the BID area.

In order to explore the impact of crime to businesses in the BID area, WeAreWaterloo hosted a Crime and Security Forum at 1901 Arts Club on Wednesday 25th July. The Crime and Security Forum’s agenda included discussion on WeAreWaterloo’s crime priorities - anti-social behaviour, terrorism, perception of crime, and cyber security - as well as updates on policing in Waterloo. The topics were explored through the use of personal accounts, survey results, data analysis and experts’ presentations.

Key questions raised in regards to anti-social behaviour concerned aggressive begging, particularly along The Cut and Waterloo Road. In order to reduce such behaviour, a suggestion was made to explore a local businesses’ fund to be created and used for hiring private security staff to patrol the streets. Additionally, the forum participants agreed that people who loiter in front of businesses should be treated with respect in order to promote a peaceful atmosphere.

Following on from this, Glenn Kesby, Manager of 1901 Arts Club, introduced the topic of counter terrorism through an explanation of what he learnt from WeAreWaterloo’s Major Incident Exercise. The exercise covered a plan for how to prepare for a major incident, how to manage the event, and how to return to normal after the incident.

After the Major Incident Exercise, WeAreWaterloo produced a document that works as a comprehensive guide for preparing for, managing and recovering from an attack. The document can be accessed at the WeAreWaterloo website. An additional poster has been designed for staff room areas, for all staff to understand. This is also available on the WeAreWaterloo website.

WeAreWaterloo’s Operations and Services Manager, Alex Butt, gave a presentation on perception of crime in Waterloo. The presentation revealed Waterloo to be a low-crime area where people generally feel safe – a survey conducted by Alex showed a perception of crime in Waterloo being quite minor and police presence to feel frequent. 

Next, Gemma Foxall and Nick Boulton from Auriga Consulting introduced the topic of cybercrime and cyber security for discussion. The presentation focused on cyber security for small and medium-sized businesses, highlighting the importance of educating employees of the topic – Foxall and Boulton note that when employees disregard systems update notifications, their computer systems become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. 

The discussion on vulnerability to cyber-attacks also brought to attention some popular scams used in cybercrime, such as the use of fake email accounts (e.g. for pretending to be an employee of the business’ bank), and using public information from social media to guess passwords for computer systems and emails. Nick directed attendees to utilise the National Cyber Security Center’s 10 Steps to Cyber Security.

An update of the Bishop’s Ward Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting was given by the Chair of the group, Mike Tuppen. PC Andre Barrone of CT Protect MPS explained the new Counter Terrorism product, Act Awarness, to the group. Act Awareness is a free presentation which provides nationally accredited counter terror guidance to help industry better understand, and mitigate against, current terrorist methodology. This has replaced Project Griffin. Available both online and to deliver in a two hour presentation. Can be bespoke to any business organization, and can be delivered at any location in Waterloo as well as at Ronald McDonald House as a default location.

For more information or resources on any of the topics, or any crime and security related issues in the Waterloo BID area, please contact alex@wearewaterloo.co.uk.