A new organisation called City Safe has been launched to tackle business crime and create a more welcoming environment in Birmingham city centre, providing businesses with the latest digital radios, access to a secure two-way network and a text messaging system giving the ability to identify and respond to issues immediately.

Led by Retail BID Birmingham, the Business Improvement District for the city centre retail area and working in partnership with West Midlands Police and British Transport Police, City Safe has been brought about in response to Retail BID members who are becoming increasingly concerned about business crime and the impact of anti-social behaviour on the safety of staff and visitors.

Responding to the needs of businesses, the organisation’s prime focus is to reduce crime and to help create a safe and secure city centre. Prior to today’s launch, more than 45 partners have signed up and trialled the radio network, which is monitored by West Midlands Police and the Police camera control room. It is the first time a digital network has been put in place for this purpose.

Within the first hour of its trial period, City Safe identified a travelling criminal in possession of £6,000 of stolen goods.

The City Safe steering group will lead on its direction and is made up of managers from Retail BID, Bullring and Grand Central, Mailbox, Selfridges, John Lewis, Boots, H&M, Primark, British Transport Police and West Midlands Police. It has the support of Birmingham City Council.

City Safe will tackle crime issues differently and adopt a community approach to support businesses with instantaneous data and intelligence sent to the mobile devices of those signed-up.

Businesses in the city centre can join City Safe by calling 0121 389 8809 or emailing citysafe@retailbirmingham.co.uk or visit www.citysafebirmingham.co.uk