One of Birmingham’s most senior police officers has praised Northfield Shopping Centre for the safety and security of its car park.
Chief Superintendent Chris Todd’s comments came as he presented centre manager Adam Meade with a Park Mark Award for its safety measures including security patrols and CCTV coverage, which provides reassurance to customers.
“There has been no recorded crime within the centre’s car park facility for two years. This is a terrific achievement, particularly as on street car crime in this area continues to be an issue,” said Chief Superintendent Todd, area commander for South Birmingham.
“People can now park at Northfield Shopping Centre reassured that their vehicle is as safe as it can possibly be, particularly when they might be leaving their vehicles for long periods of time.
“The excellent facilities also make it a pleasant place to be, especially when the lighting is good and security officers are visible.
“We would urge people leaving their possessions in vehicles to ensure they are out of sight, particularly when they may be putting their purchases in their cars and then continuing with their shopping.”
Park Mark is the accredited logo of the Safer Parking Scheme, which is given to parking facilities that have achieved the requirements of a risk assessment carried out by the police and the British Parking Association.
Assessments include management and maintenance of the car park, checking there are appropriate levels of surveillance, lighting, signage and cleanliness.
Northfield Shopping Centre manager Adam Meade said: “We have worked extremely hard to ensure our parking facilities are as safe and secure as they can possibly be because we want our customers’ to have a great experience when they shop here.
“Our security patrols provide a lot of reassurance to customers parking their cars. This coupled with CCTV and effective lighting have contributed to us being given the Park Mark Award.
“I am thrilled to have our efforts so publicly acknowledged by such a senior police officer, and I hope it will encourage more shoppers to come to Northfield.”
Car parks with the Park Mark award can use signage featuring the distinctive Park Mark tick so that drivers know exactly where to go for safer parking. There are currently nearly 5000 car parks with the Park Mark Award throughout the UK.
Michael Gardner, Park Mark Scheme area manager, said: “I am delighted that Northfield Shopping Centre is in the Safer Parking Scheme. This is testament to the effective management and hard work that goes on behind the scenes to maintain the standard required.
“The scheme celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2014. Reaching this landmark birthday is due to organisations being committed to achieving high standards and it shows they care about their customers’ experiences.”
Early adopters of the scheme saw a dramatic drop in vehicle-related crime of over 80% showing that the initiative is very important in making a difference. Vehicle-related crime now accounts for 12% of all crime* (down from 17% in 2004), and 11% of vehicle-related crime occurs in car-parks** (down from 19% in 2004).
There are currently nearly 5000 car parks with the Park Mark Award throughout the UK – their locations are on www.parkmark.co.uk.
Northfield Shopping Centre is home to more than 40 stores, from fashion, health and beauty to services and food and drink. It has more than 650 parking spaces.
The British Parking Association (BPA), founded in 1970, is the largest independent professional association in Europe, representing 720 member organisations in the parking and traffic management profession. Members range from technology manufacturers and car park operators to local authorities and theme parks.
The BPA is dedicated to promoting and representing knowledge and standards in every type of parking facility, both on-street and off-street, and to bringing together the interests of Government, local authorities and commercial organisations, providing a forum for the exchange of information and ideas concerning parking.
The BPA manages the Safer Parking Scheme on behalf of UK Police Forces and with support from the Home Office and Scottish Government. Nine Area Managers are employed by the BPA to actively promote and manage the scheme throughout the UK.