Headlines: November 28th, 2011

A central London Business Improvement District and the Metropolitan Police have teamed up in a pioneering partnership. ‘Operation Sting’ aims to deter crime in Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles, which has some of the highest incidence levels of petty, non-violent theft crimes.

The InMidtown Business Improvement District has funded state-of-the-art property marking equipment. The Metropolitan Police will register the equipment such as mobile phones, laptops and bicycles at every business within the district boundary that opts into the Operation Sting scheme. The unique ID of each item will be entered into a master database that can be crossed checked an instant.

The device will also enable businesses to create a unique asset register so they can track property and react quickly when items are lost or stolen. Employees who work in the businesses that sign up for the initiative will also be able to get their personal property marked for free. The scheme provides a speedy solution for crimes such as ATM fraud, and theft of bags and mobile phones. The tracker will help the police identify stolen goods and return them to their rightful owner.

Reporting a registered item stolen online will immediately add it to the police database for lost or stolen property. Local police will carry mobile scanners to check items they suspect have been stolen and registered items will be identified immediately.

Users can access a full print out of every item registered, making it more straightforward to complete a crime report or insurance claim. Offices that have opted into the scheme will be given window stickers and property markers to warn off potential criminals.

InMidtown is a Business Improvement District which represents 560 Central London businesses, in order to deliver a quality working environment and a place that is desirable amongst businesses. A business improvement district is a public-private partnership in which businesses in a defined area pay an additional tax or fee in order to fund improvements within the district’s boundaries.