Leading national retailers have recognised the importance of providing a safe environment for both staff and customers. A safe environment promotes the well being of staff and delivers a pleasurable and relaxing experience for customers who visit coffee shops and enjoy their products. This approach is now central to their business strategy and has evolved from partnership work which has been carried out with Westminster City Council (WCC) through the Café Watch initiative.
This initiative involved partnership work with WCC environmental health enforcement officers and crime prevention officers employed by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
Particular stores were identified as having an unusually high incidence of reported crime and high customer numbers throughout the day. These stores were used as a model for the development of new management systems specifically targeted at identifying branches where there was shown to be an increased risk of violence, and the reduction of that risk to both staff and customers.
The introduction of these arrangements has led to a 50% reduction in reported crimes across coffee shop outlets in the project, and a more proactive approach to the management of the risk of violence across the entire chain.