The Liverpool City Centre Cop Shop
With increasing pressure on public finances, Liverpool’s City Central Business Improvement District decided to think outside the box to maintain public safety and public perceptions of safety. This was a difficult challenge as a high bar was already set. The perception survey completed annually by around 1000 respondents demonstrated that feelings of safety for daytime visitors have never dropped below 94% in 10 years, occasionally reaching highs of 99%. The BID team however, was concerned that a reduced police presence could reverse this.
By initiating a dialogue with Land Securities, the owner of St John's shopping centre, the BID team was successful in securing a vacant unit which could be used by Merseyside Police as a base for reaching businesses quickly, helping the victims of crime, taking statements and providing a visual presence in the heart of the retail environment. With the BID paying the rent, Land Securities contributing to the service charge and the Merseyside Police providing the officers, this provides an example of high level cooperation between the public and private sector culminating in Britain’s first privately funded ‘Cop Shop’. A year after the Cop Shop launched in March 2011, the Police reported a 20% drop in violent crime, a 13% drop in vehicle crime and a 12% drop in criminal damage.
Not only have the contributions of all three parties provided a low cost effective solution for all but the Cop Shop has even doubled up as a tourist information centre with officers able to deal with enquiries from the public.
Out of hours, the Cop Shop is used by Street Pastors who work with the emergency services to assist town centre users during the evening.
More information on the Liverpool City Centre Cop Shop here.