Martyn's Law: Ensuring Security for Worcester Businesses

 

The consultation phase for Martyn’s Law, the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, is now underway, representing a crucial opportunity for Worcester’s business community to contribute to enhanced security measures.

Named after Martyn Hett, a victim of the Manchester bombing, this legislation aims to mandate venue owners to assess terrorism threats and implement appropriate and robust measures. The legislation ensures readiness and response training for individuals in the event of an attack. Enhanced security systems, staff training, and clearer processes aim to deliver better protection, aligning with government responses to the Manchester Arena Inquiry. The bill will be passed under a tiered framework, meaning different types of businesses will be mandated to undertake different measures.

Under Martyn’s Law, proprietors of standard-tier premises in Worcester, covering sites with capacities ranging from 100

 

to 799 individuals, must fulfil key requirements. This is the most common business type in Worcester that will be affected by the new bill. Standard-tier businesses will need to notify the Regulator of their responsibility for the premises and namely, implement procedural measures to mitigate the risk of harm to individuals in the event of an attack. Notably, the revised Bill eliminates the need for specified forms, prescribed training, or physical alterations to equipment, reducing disruption to most Worcester city centre local business operations.

Business owners and stakeholders in Worcester are urged to engage in the Government’s consultation process, offering insights to inform the finalisation of this legislation. This initiative strongly resonates with Worcester BID’s dedication to cultivating a safer environment. Through expanded training initiatives, including our Catastrophic Bleed Courses, heightened safety measures, and the improved utilisation of the CCTV-integrated business radio network, CityNet, we aim to enhance security measures. Additionally, our collaborative endeavours, such as Safe Space, underscore our commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of our community members at work, as residents and whilst enjoying all that our city has to offer.

Your input will contribute to the Government’s endeavour to enhance public safety and national security. As this Bill impacts Worcester businesses, it’s essential to be prepared for the changes it brings. Martyn’s Law is a legislative step in the right direction, but it needs your stakeholder input. You can participate in the consultation via the government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/martyns-law-standard-tier-consultation.


Worcester's 2023 Foot Traffic Soars Despite Regional Downturn

A recent release of an annual report by Place Informatics has cast a spotlight on the foot traffic trends across 12 UK regions in 2023. This comprehensive report analyses the yearly, quarterly, and monthly fluctuations in footfall, providing a comparative assessment against the previous year’s data.

Examining the year-on-year percentage change by region, the South-West and Wales emerge as the front-runners, experiencing the highest percentage increase at 4.57% and 4.45%, respectively. In contrast, London faces a notable decline with a -1.43% decrease, closely followed by the West Midlands at -1.38%. Despite Worcester’s geographic tie to the West Midlands, recent data challenges the notion of a decline in our city’s footfall.

Contrary to regional statistics, Worcester has exhibited remarkable growth. The 2023 footfall has surged by an average of 21,180 per month, translating to a substantial addition of 254,164 extra pedestrians on our streets in 2023.

What’s driving Worcester’s impressive foot traffic surge for 2023? The city has reaped the benefits of collaborative efforts, evident in the success of the Victorian Christmas market orchestrated by Worcester City Council and innovative events like the Starlight Lantern Parade, a collaborative project involving The Hive, Council, Worcester BID, and government funding support. Worcester BID’s strategic promotion of the city’s rich heritage through a Sky TV advert targeted at specific demographics has also played a pivotal role. Local businesses have actively contributed to this upswing with so many fantastic venues achieving awards, such as Maneki Ramen’s win of Japanese Restaurant of the Year 2023.

Venues have also worked hard to create a safer and more welcoming city offering for all via increased training. Worcester BID’s commitment to community development is evident in the 1205 delegates from businesses within its district attending free and heavily subsidised training courses, fostering confidence and skill development. The introduction of the BID Safer Streets Officer and Safe Space has further bolstered nighttime operations, providing crucial support in areas such as first aid and mental health.

Enhancements in lighting infrastructure and seasonal displays in aerial spaces have gained national attention, attracting more tourism and increased foot traffic on Worcester’s streets. Additionally, our arts and culture scene is booming, with the addition of the art spaces in the Arches and extended opening and popular late-night openings at our Museums!

As we look ahead, Worcester is poised for continued positive momentum, especially as the Official Education and Community Partner of the St Richards Hospice City Art Trail, The Waddle of Worcester, ensuring mass footfall into the city during summer.

Stay tuned by reading the Worcester BID column every Friday for the latest updates.


Martyn's Law: An Important Update for Business Owners

The public consultation on the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, also known as Martyn’s Law is now open. The government consultation will run for 6 weeks

Martyn’s Law is a new legislation in the UK that will mandate those responsible for certain premises and events to consider the terrorist risk and how they would respond to an attack. It is named in tribute to Martyn Hett, who was killed in the Manchester bombing. The law will follow a tiered model linked to the type of activity taking place and the expected audience size and will seek to improve how prepared a venue is without putting an undue burden on business.

In summary, those responsible for Standard Tier premises must:

  • Notify the Regulator that they are, or have become, responsible for premises within the scope of the Bill (and so subject to the relevant requirements). This remains broadly in line with previous requirements.
  • Have in place procedural measures that could be expected to reduce, so far as reasonably practicable, the risk of physical harm to individuals at the premises in the event of an attack. These relate only to the procedures to be followed by people working at the premises in the event of an attack occurring or being suspected as about to occur. As the procedural measures are about procedures for responding to an attack or suspected attack, it is not expected or required that physical alterations be undertaken or additional equipment purchased for Standard Tier premises.
  • In contrast to the published draft Bill, there is no requirement to complete a specified form (the ‘Standard Terrorism Evaluation’) for Standard Tier premises or ensure that people working at the premises are given any specific training. However, as part of putting in place the procedural measures, workers will need to be sufficiently instructed or trained to carry them out effectively.

The consultation is targeted at organisations, businesses, local and public authorities, and individuals who own or operate publicly accessible premises or events that the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill will potentially affect.

It seeks views from those responsible for smaller premises which would fall within the standard tier. Standard tier venues are businesses with a capacity of 100-799 individuals.

The bill will impose requirements about certain premises and events to increase their preparedness for, and protection from, a terrorist attack by requiring them to take proportionate steps, depending on the size and nature of the activities that take place at the premises.

The proposed requirements would apply to those responsible for qualifying public premises and qualifying public events.


Take the consultation here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/martyns-law-standard-tier-consultation

 


Worcester Leads the Charge Against Retail Theft

The recent release of the 2023 Retail Crime Survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has illuminated a national picture of a concerning surge in violence against staff and retail theft. The BRC are urging government intervention to safeguard retail workers, underscoring the pressing need for nationwide investment in deterrents, coupled with comprehensive training and support networks. Aligning with these findings, Policing Minister Chris Philp has initiated a national action plan to combat shoplifting, urging retailers to swiftly provide CCTV footage and shoplifters’ images for identification through facial recognition technology. The introduction of the Pegasus police program further seeks to gather intelligence on organised crime gangs involved in shoplifting, aiming to enhance collaboration between retailers and law enforcement.

Remarkably, Worcester has been ahead of the curve, already implementing very similar strategies for some time. The city’s resilience against the rising trend of retail theft is evident. Worcester BID is taking action to help local businesses reduce theft by providing comprehensive training courses, increasing the use of the 24/7 CCTV-connected CityNet radio system, and using GDPR-compliant DISC information sharing systems, working to strengthen the understanding and adoption of effective theft reduction schemes. Tailored Safer City meetings have evolved into essential platforms for businesses to unite against the shared challenge of retail theft, receiving insights directly from crucial partners like West Mercia Police, providing a helpful support network.

Worcester’s success in combatting retail theft is backed by tangible statistics. From June 20th, 2023, to January 19th, 2024, Worcester BID’s Safer Streets Officer reported 57 instances of asset and monetary recovery and 87 cases of deterrence within the business district. This dedicated officer actively addresses anti-social behaviour, particularly in hot-spot areas, and supports staff in reporting crimes, contributing to a substantial recovery of £12,755.15 in just seven months.

Through collaborative efforts and heightened awareness, Worcester’s partners have effectively intensified the targeting of retail theft, working towards safer streets for everyone. It is great to see that there is a national push to reduce retail theft, and even better to see that Worcester’s endeavours have already yielded success in combatting retail theft. The city is committed to further cultivating partnerships and providing ongoing efforts that support businesses to flourish.

 


Contemplating the Evolution of Worcester's High Street & Future

Public spaces, important in any city, serve as channels for social interaction and community cohesion. Yet, urban expert Matthew Davis of the Institute of Place Management, issues a warning—public spaces, from sports centres to parks and libraries, face an impending crisis of closure and underfunding. In a recent article titled ‘Pay to stay: an inflection point for accessible towns and cities’, Davis underscores the dwindling support for UK public spaces, advocating for a renewed emphasis on investing in free-to-stay areas that can address community need.

So, is Worcester too at a pivotal juncture where economic prosperity converges with social responsibility? The delicate task of maintaining accessibility for the city centre — the very heart of our community — as a member of the Worcester Business Improvement District, provides some conflict between our aim to foster business growth and Davis’s imperative to preserve public spaces. Davis contends that community input should underpin our urban environment, urging a balanced approach that marries commercial development with investments in public spaces, forging an inclusive city, and we don’t disagree.

The evolving high street introduces challenges to maintaining community spaces as businesses adopt pay-to-stay models for increased turnover, which is great for our economy. Davis suggests striking a balance between community accessibility and high street economic growth is crucial — but how well does Worcester achieve this?

While Worcester considers this challenge, municipal services, such as our city-centre public library, The Hive, stand out as successful community hubs, a stark contrast to the national trend of defunding and closures addressed in the article. However, the question lingers: does Worcester provide enough free alternatives to counterbalance pay-to-stay policies?

In response to the community ownership debate, Worcester takes its own path, with businesses like Script Haven and Sugar Daddy’s Cafe fostering meaningful community narratives. Script Haven, recognised by The Times as the third-best independent bookshop in the UK, actively engages with local talent and charities. Sugar Daddy’s Cafe has become an LGBTQ+ community hub, promoting inclusivity. Additionally, Worcester City Council allocates funding for initiatives like the Arches and Scala Theatre redevelopment, enhancing community accessibility.

The ongoing debate asks whether the high street should grow organically or if active intervention and investment in community-led infrastructure is necessary. However, does this apply to our city?

Worcester appears to strike a delicate equilibrium between economic growth and community well-being, successfully paving its path towards a balanced future.


Safe Space: Worcester's Nighttime Guardian Reveals Impressive Debut Stats

In the bustling nighttime economy of Worcester, the new Safe Space has well and truly arrived, offering solace to those who may find themselves vulnerable in our city. Safe Space, a beacon of compassion and care, takes to our streets every Friday and Saturday night, as well as during events, providing a safe environment for residents, students, and visitors alike.

Operated by a team of dedicated professionals, Safe Space is more than just a physical location; it’s a helping hand for those in need. Safe Space embraces everyone with open arms, free of charge and has already helped many city-goers. The ethos of Safe Space is simple: to extend medical support, welfare support or otherwise and to offer this without any preconceived notions.

In its inaugural seven nights of operation, Safe Space has proven to be more than just a safety net – it’s a financial boon for the NHS, saving an impressive figure of at least £4300 – without any financing from you the taxpayer. Beyond the monetary value, it has addressed and managed 39 medical and welfare incidents during this short span, showcasing its now indispensable role in improving community safety standards.

During the chilly nights of December, when festivities filled the air, Safe Space served as a crucial support system for Worcester’s residents, students, and visitors. Over just seven nights, including New Years Eve, their impact was felt deeply: 13 visitors, perhaps unfamiliar with the city’s terrain, discovered a haven in their time of need, 24 residents found solace and assistance and 2 students also received aid. 5 other individuals, who were not categorised at the time of visiting, were also assisted by the Safe Space.

Safe Space is more than a service; it’s a testament to the strength of a community that values compassion and inclusivity. Let Safe Space stand as a reminder that the city is fostering a culture of care that makes Worcester truly exceptional.

 

Find out more on our website


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NEW!! Safe Space Worcester Successfully Launches Over the Weekend

Worcester Safe Space was officially launched on December 15 adding yet an extra string to the night-time strategy’s bow.

Worcester is a city that takes safety seriously. Equipped with CCTV, a CityNet radio system, a newly developed Pub Watch scheme and having already been awarded the Purple Flag accreditation for two years running, the city has taken things to the next level with the introduction of a Safe Space. This unique initiative provides a non-judgmental, supportive haven for anyone in need of assistance during operation in the night-time hours.

Worcester BID leads the way with the city night-time strategy and Safe Space initiative, working in conjunction with the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, Worcester City Council, West Mercia Police, Worcester Street Pastors, Worcestershire County Council, Crowngate Shopping Centre, University of Worcester, RTN Medical and Universal Display.

The Safe Space vehicle was also out in force this weekend on both Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th of December. The primary goal of this pioneering initiative is to make the city a safer place for everyone, and it did just that over the weekend.

The Safe Space vehicle offers a range of services designed to ensure a safe night out, including:

  • Skilled paramedics
  • Mental health support
  • Welfare support
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • Help finding a taxi
  • A secure space to wait
  • Security alarms and drink StopTopps
  • Emergency mobile phone charging
  • A change of clothes
  • Bottles of water

Worcester Safe Space is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all members of the community. Over the course of the weekend the Safe Space vehicle was stationed at Worcester’s Cornmarket from 10pm to 1.30am before moving location to Angel Place where it will remain in place until 4am.

During its operation the Safe Space supported the patrons of city centre businesses in enjoying a safe night out in the city by giving general assistance, first aid, and welfare support. On Friday night, the work of the team at Safe Space saved at least two ambulances from being called out, provided five counts of first aid and a further four counts of welfare support. On the Saturday, a further ambulance call out was saved and four counts of first aid were successfully given. Safe Space also assisted in phone charging, directions, train times and handed out numerous bottles of water to those in need across both nights.

 

Richard Nash, Lead Medic at Safe Space said: “We are thrilled to have aided many visitors of the city centre through the Safe Space initiative. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, with members of the public and Police alike expressing their gratitude.

Our team provided support to vulnerable individuals by providing warmth, water, and safe transport home. We also administered first aid treatment, charged mobile phones, and aided with directions to ensure safe journeys.

The initiative proved to be a great success on its debut, and we’re excited to continue providing support and welfare to those in need.”

Samantha McCarthy, Worcester BID CEO, said: “We take pride in the fact that we were able to help numerous individuals arrive home safely over the course of the weekend. In doing so, we were also able to contribute to the operations of the night-time economy and reduce the burden on our city’s emergency services.”

The Safe Space will be active again every Friday and Saturday night throughout December, as well as on New Year’s Eve, providing support and assistance from 10pm to 4am. We are looking forward to continuing our services to individuals in need and supporting our business community throughout 2024.

For more information on the Worcester Safe Space project, you can follow @safespaceworc on social media, and for more Worcester BID’s night-time economy initiatives, you can visit the website at www.worcesterbid.com.


We are going ‘nutcrackers’ over the Starlight Parade and Trail this Christmas

The Hive Library is thrilled to announce the return of the lantern parade, an event that has been much missed since the pandemic restrictions in 2020. This year, The Hive has partnered with Worcester City Council, Worcester BID, local Artist Catt Standen, and Crowngate Shopping Centre, to make the return of the event bigger and better than ever before. The Starlight Parade and Trail is set to be enlightening! The enchantment of a certain magical ballet is in the air, and we’ve sprinkled a dash of its brilliance throughout our lantern-lit evening.

The Starlight Parade will take place on Saturday 25th November at 4pm starting from The Hive and ending at Cathedral Square. Invited students from local schools as well as a team of volunteers and creatives will adorn the streets of Worcester with handmade lanterns.

Artists Anna Best and Catt Standen have been visiting the city’s schools this month, working with students to build willow lanterns and to tell them more about the parade. Lantern decorating workshops will also take place at The Hive throughout November and December, where families and children are encouraged to decorate their own lantern before lining the streets to welcome and watch the parade. The public is invited to watch the spectacle by lining the route of the Starlight Parade: a great place to watch is the High Street!

Local artist Catt Standen has also produced four amazing showstopper lanterns for the Starlight Parade around the theme of the famous ballet, The Nutcracker. The special showstoppers are funded by Worcester BID and will stand 6 feet tall upon puppeteers! If you attend, you will see a Storybook, the magical Mouse King, the Nutcracker and the sparkling Sugarplum Fairy Princess.

The parade will start at 4pm from The Hive, making its way down past the bus station and Mode Nightclub, across the market stalls at Angel Place, turning left onto Broad Street before making the final stretch down Worcester High Street finishing at Cathedral Square.

The Starlight Parade coincides with the exciting Christmas Lights switch-on, situated at Cathedral Square, where there will be lots of family entertainment from 4pm until 7pm and the parade will take you straight to the action! The event will mark the beginning of the Christmas celebrations in Worcester with live music performances from local schools, choirs and appearances from the cast of the Swan Theatre’s Pantomime, Jack and The Beanstalk.

A fantastic window art trail will accompany the starlit event during November and December, with local business windows decorated by local artists. A hidden word game dotted around the city will also spread some festive joy over the extended Christmas period.

Stephanie Jones, Library Manager at The Hive, said “We’re delighted to partner with Worcester BID, Worcester City Council, and Catt Standen to help convene the Starlight Parade and Trail this year. We’re extremely excited to see the fantastic lanterns and to celebrate the Christmas Lights switch-on as part of Worcester’s local community.”

 

The Hive Library and city partners Worcester BID and Worcester City Council are thrilled to bring back lanterns to Worcester in the form of the sparkling-new Starlight Parade and Trail.

After the parade, the showstopper lanterns will be exhibited at The Hive from Monday 27th December 2023 until Tuesday 2nd January 2024 with free admission to all and open daily (8:30am-10pm). There will also be multiple ‘Meet the Artist’ events during December giving the public the opportunity to meet artist Catt Standen as she talks about the creation of the lanterns.

To stay up to date with everything about The Starlight Parade and Trail, please follow @thestarlightparade on Instagram.

Please visit The Hive’s website for more information and to book your lantern-making workshop: Lantern Decorating Workshops – The Hive (thehiveworcester.org)


CUPP Unveils Exciting New Menu with UK's First Mochi Topping and Baby Boba

CUPP have been trading for over 10 years, proudly pushing to be pioneers of boba tea innovation in the UK. CUPP is thrilled to introduce their brand new menu which is set to captivate the taste buds of boba tea lovers across the nation.

The centrepiece of this menu expansion is the Mochi Series (pronounced moe-chee). Marking a historic milestone in the UK boba tea industry, CUPP is the first major chain to introduce the delightful chewiness of mochi topping to their menu. This exciting move solidifies CUPP's position as an industry leader in innovation.

In addition to the pioneering Mochi Series, CUPP Bubble Tea is proud to unveil two other captivating series:

Cloud Series
Elevate your daily boba tea with the introduction of our Cloud Series: featuring a luxurious, light cheese topping that adds a sweet & savoury element to your drink. Take it up a notch and make it a Cloudcake by adding a sprinkle of caramelised biscuit crumbs - think vanilla cheesecake!

Hot Brown Sugar Series
Our nation's favourite - Brown Sugar Series is now available hot! These indulgent drinks can now comfort all of our customers through the colder months. It’s a perfect pick me up to beat the winter blues.

CUPP's commitment to pushing the boundaries of flavour doesn't stop there. The new menu also boasts an exciting array of new boba teas that are sure to become instant favourites:

1. Mango Matcha
2. Brown Sugar Taro
3. Choco- Caramel
4. Passion Fruit Tea
5. Vanilla Latte Boba - for the coffee lovers!

In addition to these exciting offerings, CUPP is proud to announce the release of "Baby Boba" for the youngest members of the bubble tea-loving community. They’ll be offering a free toy for all mini bobas throughout November and December. "We are absolutely thrilled to introduce our latest menu - it’s exciting to see the hard work of our teams come to life. We have put a lot of work and research into bringing the best new boba trends to the UK from Taiwan; the home of boba tea! " Said Lee Peacock, Founder and CEO of CUPP.

The new menu will be available in all CUPP Bubble Tea UK stores starting in October. Whether you're a dedicated boba tea enthusiast or a curious newcomer, CUPP invites you to embark on a flavour-filled journey with these exciting new offerings.