Ladbrokes is to pilot Facewatch, the online crime reporting and image sharing system, in all its London betting shops.
Facewatch, which is used by the police, business associations, shopping centres and retailers across the capital, is believed to reduce crime by improving detection and conviction rates and acting as a strong deterrent to would-be thieves and shoplifters, according to its creators.
Facewatch also saves police and shop staff time by offering a rapid response to any incident.It allows crimes to be reported quicker, with the correct evidential information and witness statements, enabling the police to start investigations immediately and enabling the business owner to proactively help the victim.
Metropolitan police figures based on a 2011 pilot suggest that detection rates on crimes reported through Facewatch are 73 percent higher than on those reported by other means, and that CCTV images are circulated two weeks earlier than they would otherwise be.
Details of the crime are entered into the Facewatch system via any Internet-connected device and a crime investigation number is immediately provided to the victim.The business owner is then able to upload moving and still images from his CCTV cameras, which can be used in court as evidence. Further services such as payment card cancellation are provided free of charge to a victim, who will also receive updates by email on the progress of the police investigation.
Ladbrokes sees the use of Facewatch as contributing to creating a more secure and safe experience for its customers and staff.
Said the bookmaker’s public affairs manager Richard Royal: “The safety and security of our customers and staff is paramount and we’re delighted to add another crime-fighting tool to our excellent procedures, which already include a 24/7 manned security room and the best CCTV in the business.
“Ladbrokes is glad to be at the forefront of cutting-edge innovative technological solutions to problems which affect the whole community.”
Added Simon Gordon, Facewatch’s chairman and founder: “We look forward to working closely with Ladbrokes. Facewatch is the perfect solution in this environment as it provides immediate benefits for customers and staff while ensuring rapid and accurate uploading of all crime information, and allows all shops to share information and images of persistent offenders.”
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