FIFTEEN years ago, Britain barely had any CCTV cameras. Now you find them where we work, where we shop, where we eat and along the roads we drive on. Nowhere are they more evident than on the Team Valley Trading Estate.
Team Valley is renowned as one of the UK’s biggest and most vibrant mixed-use business locations. Here a safe and crime-free working environment is taken for granted, thanks to the behind-the-scenes work of Valleywatch.
With 700 businesses, 18,000 people and 12,000 vehicles in an area two miles long and a mile wide, policing the Team Valley used to be a logistical nightmare, and, back in the early 1990s, a rising crime rate and rocketing insurance premiums began to deter businesses from locating to the area.
Valleywatch was set up to tackle these problems by providing the estate with an effective and efficient surveillance and monitoring service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
General manager Cyril Deeming said: "Valleywatch is the result of a unique public and private sector initiative, and since it was launched the results have been amazing.
"In the last decade general crime has been reduced by 79%, burglaries by 84% and we have helped the police make almost 500 arrests."
"We have also been instrumental in keeping the crime levels low, which has resulted in a growth of commercial confidence and a large amount of redevelopment. Obviously we are very proud of the part we have played in this regeneration."
Valleywatch offers a unique combination of services including key holding and alarm monitoring; 24-hour surveillance by efficient and highly trained staff; a manned, modern monitoring centre and a highly visible branded fleet of security vehicles, which provide a rapid response to any incident spotted by the camera operators.
The company also maintains a high level of liaison with Northumbria Police, including the provision of facilities for the local beat officer and hosts the successful Shopwatch Scheme.
"The cost-effective service provided by Valleywatch delivers on many levels and is integral to the continued success of the business community," continued Mr Deeming. "However, while many businesses on the estate are a part of the scheme, some companies still don’t contribute – but we are working on them."
:: For further information, or to join the Valleywatch scheme, call Cyril Deeming on (0191) 499-4700 or visit www.valleywatch.co.uk.