Section 1: Characteristics of good data sharing
It is easiest to see how effective data sharing can lead to better outcomes for businesses and police; below are three examples:
- In Sussex, police have developed a photo gallery, including details such as names, types of offence committed (e.g., shoplifter, violence towards staff), of prolific offenders gathered from a range of businesses. This information is shared internally in the police and across participating businesses using a GDPR compliant process. As a result, a number of individuals have been arrested by the police having been identified in the community. In addition, businesses have been able to manage their engagement with these offenders more proactively reducing the risk to their colleagues and their business.
- The Co-op, like other businesses has an internal risk assessment of stores to inform security investment and deployment decisions which is made up of a range of aggregated data about the store from layout, turnover, staffing levels, security measures in place, total number of incidents in store and their timing– none of the data is specific to an individual. This data has been shared with Nottinghamshire police who as a result have changed their assessment of the risk posed at each store and consequently changed deployment decisions to where they now understand the highest risk to be. This has resulted in reduction of crime at those stores.
- The National Association of Business Crime Partnerships (NABCP) works across the country through Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs) and are the umbrella body representing these BCRPs at a national level. Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRPs) perform a valuable function as part of local community efforts to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour which affects businesses, their staff, customers and the community. The NABCP facilitates a huge number of partnerships and schemes, which oversee data being shared and outcomes being delivered.
Fundamentally, an agreed process, IT interface and outcomes make it easy for business and police to engage in problem-solving and produces results.
Case study- prolific and persistent offender targeting a convenience store:
It had been identified by a convenience retailer that one of their stores was being repeatedly targeted by an unknown offender. The offences ranged from theft to anti-social behaviour. This individual had committed 16 offences over a two-week period. Store colleagues recognised the individual and could describe them but could not put a name to the person. Colleagues feared for their safety when the individual entered the store and the losses to the business were mounting. The store identified the individual as ‘baseball cap’, an item of clothing the individual wore when entering the store to partially cover their face.
The store reported that the individual lived in a flat across the road from the store, they were able to confirm the address of the flat to support police enquiries. This individual was reported by the store to the National Business Crime Solution with details of the Crime Reference Number.
NBCS applied to the force for an image of the individual, the individuals address and date of birth details via the agreed NBCS / Police force ISA. Police responded positively to the request with the details. NBCS were then able to securely share this information not only with this store but also with other stores belonging to this retailer and NBCS member stores across the area.
Thanks to the sharing of this intelligence the store was able to report a name against further offences and provide details of identity. This supported police in taking action against this individual promptly which led to the offending stopping. This individual has not committed any further offences against this store. Furthermore, other businesses local to the area are now able to prevent further offences by identifying the individual and deterring the crime before it has been committed by offering excellent customer service, thereby preventing violence and protecting business interests while reducing demand on policing.
The individual was identified as a vulnerable person with specific needs pertaining to feeding her children. Following the identification, the individual was signposted to the appropriate support services where they are now receiving the appropriate support.
Case study- Business Crime Reduction Partnerships (BCRP)
Tadascz arrived in the UK from Poland 5 years before his problems began. Finding employment with a national retailer he was respected and worked hard but he developed an alcohol addiction and was sacked for coming to work drunk or smelling of alcohol.
With no income he was evicted from his home and started to sleep rough at the back of shops in the Town Centre. Complaints started to pour in with excrement and litter being left near the temporary shelter he had built. He stole food and alcohol on a daily basis and was known to be resorting to drugs.
The local BCRP incorporated into the local Business Improvement District started to problem solve with their Town Centre members and partners.
The BCRP shared information with Framework and regular checks were made early morning on his health and welfare. Temporary accommodation was found for him, and information shared with the local council and permanent accommodation was found.
The Council drug and alcohol team were informed, and he was offered help and support and regularly attended group sessions.
The BID Ambassador accompanied him to the DWP as he was embarrassed to go alone, and he was entitled to state benefit.
Tadascz is now seen regularly in town, clean smart and now in regular employment again.
Information sharing at a local level works.
Additional case studies from the ICO: