Covent Garden
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Community Champion

10 December 2012

The Trust's secretary/administrator Sarah Lane was honoured and delighted to be awarded a Community Champion certificate in November for her contribution to a partnership radio link scheme introduced by the Covent Garden & Strand Business Partnership to tackle crime in the area. The awards, presented by Supt Steve Osborn from the Metropolitan Police and ward councillor Tim Mitchell, are a formal recognition for local businesses who have been instrumental in the setting up of the scheme and who have achieved recent successes.

Sarah said: "I was approached just over a year ago by Sgt Will Hodgkinson of the Covent Garden Safer Neighbourhood Team because he needed a charity to hold some funds being made available by the Police Property Act Fund - money raised from the sale of unclaimed lost property - which was being earmarked to set up the Covent Garden and Strand Business Crime Reduction Partnership. The Trust agreed to hold the funds and I then assisted with registering the BCRP as a company and sat in on a few initial meetings. When it became apparent that the Covent Garden BCRP was going to merge with the Soho one and become the West End Business Partnership, I felt it was time for the Trust to stand down and withdraw its involvement. I was very surprised and honoured to receive this award."

Sgt Hodgkinson said: "Without Sarah, we would not have had a business partnership."

The Covent Garden & Strand Business Partnership offers members the chance to help reduce shoplifting, theft, alcohol-related disorder and other anti-social behaviour affecting their business. Local businesses are linked together using a dedicated radio system and soon with an intranet site that will allow partners in the scheme to share information and images of suspects, submit posts and upload documents. With 50 premises signed up since its launch in August, the scheme is growing rapidly and strengthens the connections amongst the business community whilst working closer with the police and local authority. Sgt Hodgkinson said: "This is a fantastic tool to unite the community and share resources. Where security guards and CCTV are effective, connecting businesses to other partners, the local police and council ensures that we fight crime and anti-social behaviour as one. The partnership has not been running long and yet we have already seen a number of fantastic results.”

For more information visit www.saferwestend.com

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Covent Garden Area Trust
13 New Row, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4LF
Tel: 020 7497 9245 | Fax: 020 7240 2405 | admin@coventgardentrust.org.uk
Registered Charity No: 299874. Registered at Companies House, Cardiff. Registered No: 02280893.

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