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Hi-tech bid to see off roving offenders.


POLICE in Coventry are trying out a new computer system to help stamp out retail and town centre crime.

The hi-tech scheme is the work of a partnership involving traders, town centre managers, local author- ities and police, which shares information with other towns to crack down on roving offenders.

The Business Information Crime System (BICS) will enable them to share information, track offenders, respond quickly and prevent crime happening in the first place.

Coventry is one of several areas to pilot the scheme, which will see an end to town centre schemes working in isolation.

The scheme has already proved successful in Northampton and Birmingham, slashing city centre retail crime by a third.

It helps different towns and cities identify the most persistent and prolific lifestyle criminals and has been launched by the Midlands Regional Crime Initiative, which is made up of 15 crime-fighting partnerships and represents more than 3,000 retailers.

Carl Clump, chief executive of BICS project partners Retail Decisions, said: "With part-funding of the project from the Department of Trade and Industry, pilot projects were established in the West Midlands and Warwickshire police areas.

"Other schemes throughout the UK have since joined the BICS project and, in June, work will commence on linking them to a central portal."

Former Chief Constable of West Midlands Police Sir Geoffrey Dear, who has been appointed chairman of the MRCI, said: "I am pleased to support this splendid initiative which has already proven itself with great success and promises even more."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 8, 2002
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