Online crime reporting system Facewatch now free

Facewatch system being used to identify a theft
Facewatch system being used to identify a theft

Facewatch is now being offered free to all UK businesses, with a focus on retailers and the licensed trade, through Facewatch & Partners, a newly set up Not for Profit Company chaired by Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas.

Facewatch provides online crime reporting and CCTV image sharing directly to the Police and has been awarded “Secured by Design” status by ACPO (The Association of Chief Police Officers).

Facewatch was piloted in London during 2011, starting in the Victoria Business Improvement District and Westminster, which resulted in a 73% increase in detection rates of low level crime as well as measurable savings in Police time and costs.

Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas commented, “I am very pleased to Chair this exciting initiative which enables the Police and businesses to work closely together to reduce low level crime and help to make our Communities safer. The new Not for Profit company, Facewatch & Partners, represents the interests of all our stakeholders including businesses, Police, Communities and Sponsors.”

Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, commented: “I am pleased to support Facewatch for its practical use of technology in the fight to combat crime. The system is a catalyst for businesses and Police to join together; a great example of citizens and Communities getting involved alongside the Police.”

Facewatch was created by Simon Gordon who was determined to reduce petty crime in his family’s wine bar – the famous Gordon’s Wine Bar in London – and was frustrated by the practical difficulties of reporting crime in a way that the Police could act on quickly and effectively.

Simon’s solution was to use the power of the internet to bridge the gap between CCTV and the Police.  The web based system, which provides a complete online evidential pack including images, moving CCTV footage and witness statements, was launched in 2011 and is now proven to improve conviction rates, reduce Police time, and help victims of crime by providing an instant crime reference and free cancellation of their payment cards through Card Protection offered by CPPGroup Plc (CPP)*.

*This service helps to reduce any fraudulent expenditure on lost and stolen payment cards and provides reassurance to victims that their cards cannot be used and replacements are already on their way.

Facewatch & Partners’ goal is to spread the experience of Victoria BID & Westminster around the UK, firstly focusing on London, so that all businesses can benefit from this innovative use of technology to solve the problem of low level crime.

Simon Gordon, sponsor of Facewatch & Partners commented, “My aim is to reduce low level crime rather than just fill up our prisons with offenders. To do this I believe we need to create a strong deterrent and the creation of Facewatch as a National low level crime database which enables all businesses with low level crime problems to be part of the solution, but at no cost to themselves, is a step in the right direction. I am proud to be the founding sponsor for Facewatch & Partners and fully support the objective of providing the system free to businesses and the Police. The more people who get involved in tackling low level crime the better. I hope that many businesses will want to join me in sponsoring Facewatch & Partners”.

*Met Police figures based on pilot 2011:
Time saved per crime reported through Facewatch – 2 hours
Detection rate 8.8% vs 5.1% – an increase of 73%
Circulation of CCTV images – 2 weeks faster than normal


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