Coastal Business Improvement District
The PCC awarded a grant to Bournemouth Coastal Business Improvement District (BID) to enable them to place shop ‘wraps’ on empty shop windows throughout Boscombe
This supports the PCC’s priorities to lower anti-social behaviour and crime levels.
A successful initiative throughout other parts of the country, the shop wraps vastly improve the appearance of empty shops, as well as discouraging anti-social behaviour. Closed and abandoned shop fronts are often unsightly and can lower the “tone” of a street or town, due to their dishevelled appearance. By simply covering the shop windows with self-adhesive vinyls specially designed to fit in with the street, the shop windows are no longer a catalyst for ‘broken window syndrome’. This is a theory that if there are broken windows in an area, vandals tend to break a few more windows and then may eventually break into a building and so antisocial behaviour can snowball and spread. Therefore by maintaining urban environments properly, this can prevent a number of small crimes such as vandalism, squatting and public drinking. By creating an atmosphere of law and order and discouraging such behaviour, in turn this then discourages more serious crime from happening.
The Costal BID tackled this issue by covering the shop windows with vinyls depicting mock shop fronts. These have proved popular with shoppers, retailers and community groups in Boscombe. Not only does covering the shops reduce local crime, but research shows that having the shops covered also makes the premises more attractive to new potential tenants. 40 percent of shops with vinyls covering windows, find a new tenant within 6 months, thereby improving the town and being hugely beneficial to the local community.
Pam Ruthvan, Chair of Pokesdown Community Forum, set up by local residents to work with businesses to improve the local community, said: “ We have been aspiring to achieve this goal of acquiring vinyl wraps for a long time now and have been working closely with the council, traders and landlords. The vinyls look amazing! It’s an excellent example of just how the High Street could look if all units were fully occupied. They are really making a difference to Boscombe and smartening up our local community.”