InExeter Members,

I am writing to you all as a member of the community, a father, a partner and someone who runs a business here in Exeter city centre. Since I took over as Chair of InExeter it has become very clear that Anti-Social behaviour and in particular the criminal element of this, is a key problem for Exeter businesses. ASB disrupts trade, deters custom, staff and guests suffer threats and abuse, businesses lose stock, the list unfortunately goes on. Recent headlines have highlighted a growing trend across the UK for shoplifting and violent anti-social behaviour. I have spoken with some of you personally, I have read the messages in your street WhatsApp groups and it is important to say InExeter hears you loud and clear.

To this end it is important we communicate with you directly. Moving forward ASB will have a dedicated page on the InExeter website. We are working on that now, the page will be regularly updated and I will share links and information as we reach milestones or activate projects. 

The truth is we cannot solve this problem on our own but we are committed to working on your behalf to find cost effective ways of reducing the impact of ASB on our Exeter business community.

I will now lay out the next steps we are currently taking:

InExeter will support the Police by lobbying on behalf of Exeter business for more resources to deal with this issue. Criminal behaviour is the responsibility of the Police and Op Loki has proven boots on the ground make a significant difference. We as a business community need to support our local policing team by reporting any criminal behaviour so the decision makers that control the resources can see the extent of the issue here. We will be publishing advice, links for reporting and stats around this issue.

InExeter will proactively welcome partnership working on these projects through the Community Safety Partnership and directly with all partners including ECC, D&C Police and EBAC.

EBAC and the EBAC radio system is key for businesses to communicate intelligence to each other and CCTV control. InExeter is looking at how we can support EBAC to make this as effective as possible.

InExeter recognises on-site personnel make a huge difference and as such are exploring the possibility of outreach staff to support businesses across the city. These staff could perform a range of functions including assisting businesses in gathering evidence for Community Banning Orders. It is important to say, this is NOT a replacement for police officers.

InExeter is exploring ways it can assist in evidence gathering for the Police so they are in a position to take action on offenders and help the Police in cascading information to business so you all remain well informed.

InExeter are working with partners to ensure that vulnerable people have access to support services wherever possible and any security team deployed into the city would be trained in what those services are. It is important we are supporting businesses to tackle criminal behaviour and one key way is ensuring we are identifying those that could be constructive members of the community with the right support and signposting that work.

InExeter will engage with you, the business community, to ensure you have the most up-to-date advice and clear steps you and your staff can take to help tackle this problem.

The team at InExeter, the board and myself wish you the best and will continue to update you on this important issue. I welcome conversation and invite you to reach out on this issue. Thankyou for your time.

Mat Jarratt