Woman shoplifting a pair of jeans by hiding them in her large pink purse

Brisbane retailers are teaming up with the Brisbane City Council and Crime Stoppers in a high-tech bid to stamp out crime in the CBD and Fortitude Valley.

The National Retail Association’s SafeCity Network will be switched on in March next year, thanks to backing from the Federal Government’s Safer Streets program and support from the Council.

It will involve a real-time digital platform to allow retailers to share information about criminal activity and the presence of known and suspected criminals in the SafeCity Network catchment area. 

It will also involve regular collaboration among retailers, coordinated by the NRA, and a dedicated line operated by Crime Stoppers for retailers in the network to provide non-urgent information to law enforcement agencies.

And best of all, it is free for retailers to join thanks to the support of the Federal Government and the Brisbane City Council.

NRA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Lamb predicted the combination of new technology, greater collaboration and easier reporting would help drive down retail crime in the CBD and Valley, creating a safer and more visitor-friendly shopping environment.

“We know that where retail crime is a problem, anti-social behaviour is usually following close behind,” Ms Lamb said.

“By working together to identify and prevent criminal activity, City and Valley retailers will be helping to create a better place to shop and improve their own bottom line, which in turn will result in stronger employment opportunities and a more vibrant CBD.

“This is a free program for retailers in the CBD and Valley, and it will only succeed if local businesses get on board. So I urge retailers to get in touch and sign up to the NRA SafeCity Network.”

The NRA SafeCity Network will provide a digital platform for high-risk retailers to upload video or photographs and details of theft and other retail crime committed in their stores.  This will be vetted and then shared across the network to similar retailers, to help them guard against similar crimes.

The NRA will also provide the collated intelligence data to Crime Stoppers to support crime prevention, weekly information bulletins to participating retailers based on trends and crime patterns, and convene monthly meetings among like-minded retailers to share information. 

“The most frustrating thing about in-store crime for most retailers is their perception – rightly or wrongly – that complaints are never properly actioned by the police, and that making the report is more trouble than it is worth,” Ms Lamb said.

“The problem with this approach is that individual crimes that go unreported could add up to valuable information about trends and activities of particular perpetrators.

“By making it easier to capture, upload and share information, the NRA SafeCity Network will provide a valuable bank of data that can be used by both retailers and law enforcement officials to understand, predict and prevent patterns of criminal behaviour,” she said.

Brisbane City Council Chair of Finance and Economic Development, Cr Krista Adams, said a safer and more family-friendly CBD and Valley would be a win for all the businesses in the area and all residents of Brisbane.

“We are serious about ensuring Brisbane is a safe place to live, work and relax, and this initiative will give retailers and the general public more peace of mind when they’re out enjoying Brisbane’s great lifestyle,” Cr Adams said.

“Our businesses are the driving force behind our city’s economy, and Council is supportive of initiatives that help local traders better-serve the people of Brisbane,” she said.

Crime Stoppers Chief Executive Office Trevor O’Hara welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with the NRA and local retailers.

“Crime Stoppers is pleased to be providing support through our independent contact centre to ensure that retailers can participate in the Safe City Network with ease,” Mr O’Hara said.

“Crime Stoppers’ core role is to assist with solving and preventing crime, and this network will not only help to increase information about offenders but also may lead to identifying them instead of just being another face on CCTV,” he said.

The NRA SafeCity Network is scheduled to begin operations in March, for an initial trial period of 12 months. 

How do I get involved?

The NRA SafeCity Network is free to all retailers with stores in Brisbane City or Fortitude Valley who sign up for the 12-month trial which commences February 2018. Retailers who wish to participate should call 1800 RETAIL (1800 738 245) or (07) 3240 0100 or follow the steps below:

  1. Sign up now to the SafeCity Network via the button below.
  2. Gain access to timely information, statistics & specialists when the trial commences.
  3. Participate in SafeCity Network collaboration activities (face-to-face and online).