Key members of the Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP), a group of over 200 town centre businesses supported by Surrey Police, Experience Guildford and the local authority, joined forces on Tuesday 13th October to collectively detect, deter and detain shoplifters and other individuals causing low-level anti-social behaviour on the high street. The town centre “blitz”, designed to identify and tackle crime at its root, was carried out by a number of key high street representatives all involved in crime reduction and loss prevention, including Surrey Police, Town CCTV, Experience Guildford and key retailers.

As part of Guildford’s ongoing effort to deter crime throughout the town, the activity coincided with the partnership’s launch of a new Town Centre Exclusion Scheme. The new Exclusion Scheme will be available to all BCRP members and aims to collaboratively reduce the incidence of repeat crime across Guildford.

Operated by a representative Board of Management from the BCRP, The Exclusion Scheme offers a warnings-based platform available to all partnership members to help identify and bar consistent repeat offenders from all businesses within the scheme, whilst also encouraging a more reformative approach to crime.

Under the scheme, any member of the BCRP can issue an initial warning letter to an individual shoplifting or causing anti-social behaviour in their business to discourage a repeat offence. If this initial warning is breached within a set time framework (ranging from 3 to 12 months), then the specific crime and individual will be reviewed by the BCRP Board of Management and a more formal banning and privacy policy letter could be issued, plus the visual identity of the offender and detail of their offence could be shared amongst other members of the partnership to enable a town centre-wide banning order.

The new BCRP Exclusion Scheme, due to rolled out from 14th October 2020, is already successfully in operation across a number of towns in the UK including Brighton, Gloucester, Bath and Bristol. A survey conducted by Gloucestershire University in 2018 looking into the impact of the Exclusion Scheme, found that 76% of offenders committed no further offences following the receipt of a Business Crime Reduction Partnership warning letter.

Commenting on Guildford’s activity to combat crime and anti-social behaviour in the town, Kim Eden, store manager, M&S Guildford says;

“I am really excited that Guildford is launching the Business Exclusion Partnership, and I’m proud that we are part of it. The programme enables retailers to demonstrate as a group we are serious about sharing resources, communicating well to promote the very best experience for visitors to our town so that those that want to enjoy the manly draws to the area can do so peacefully.”

PC Victoria Detomaso, Surrey Police adds;

“The Exclusion Scheme is a positive way to tackle those who commit offences and/or anti-social behaviour at businesses in Guildford Town Centre. It provides the ability for Guildford Town to stand up, in a united front, to prevent repeat offending, and for Surrey Police to work in partnership with Experience Guildford to achieve this aim.”

Pete Lambert, Town Safety and Venue Liaison Manager at Experience Guildford concludes;

“Collectively, we can all work hard together to combat crime in our town centre and show would-be criminals and repeat offenders that we have the means and systems in place to deter them. By launching initiatives such as the Business Crime Reduction Partnership and Exclusion Scheme, we are doing our bit to protect Guildford’s visitors and residents, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of the businesses that operate here and instilling a reformative approach to crime in a bid to reduce repeat offending. Thanks to all the partners for getting behind this scheme and to the Board of Management for their efforts in delivering it.”

For more information on the ongoing activity in Guildford town centre to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, plus detail of the Business Crime Reduction Partnership and the Exclusion Scheme, visit