Winning the hearts and minds of businesses – and police – in Bradford
Steve Baker and Steve Longbottom head up Bradford's Business Crime Reduction Partnership – City Centre Beat. The two Steves have been successfully co-managing the job since 2008.
Their focus, low-level crime and antisocial behaviour in and around Bradford city centre, is familiar territory to both ex-police inspectors, who have many years' experience of the area.
City Centre Beat evolved from the original Pubwatch and Shopwatch schemes, dating back to 1992. Steve Baker recalls the attitudes of some police colleagues towards sharing information in the early days: "Most police officers, being cynical old soldiers, didn't really like to work with other people, because they always felt they could do things better.
"If information was shared in 1992, it was just a local bobby giving out a few photographs of criminals to a few businesses and there was resistance from police bosses about sharing intelligence. It was difficult to do anything."
The two Steves had always favoured a more open flow of information and as the partnership grew from just a handful of retailers in the city centre to the 170 members it has today, they realised they needed a better way to store, share and communicate intelligence.