Facewatch is an online crime reporting scheme where retail outlets, pubs, restaurants and hotels can report crime electronically – downloading CCTV images to an online portal. This means that police do not have to visit a business premises to investigate and take witness statements. This saves officers and businesses time and money. It reduces repeat offences on low level crime within the town centre of Richmond upon Thames and improves businesses’ bottom line with fewer losses due to shoplifting.
Facewatch was originally introduced within Richmond upon Thames town centre in 2016 and was piloted to ten businesses – three of which are major high street multiples. After six months, in one store alone, £11,000 in police hours was saved by using the scheme.
Richmond BID wants to build on this success and, in association with Metropolitan Police, has put in place funding to roll the scheme out amongst businesses within the BID area.