TOWN centre traders are being invited to meet with police to discuss their crime concerns.
Sgt Nick Everett, who is responsible for policing Blackburn town centre, will be quizzed on topics such as anti-social behaviour and vandalism, which businesses say can affect the number of people visiting the area to spend money.
The meeting on Thursday has been organised as part of the Blackburn Business Improvement District programme.
Mick Smith, from Newground, the accountable body for the BID, said: “A negative perception of safety can deter some visitors from visiting the area and new businesses from locating in the town.
“We do not want crime to be a reason that stops people coming to Blackburn.”
Among the items on the agenda are concerns over shoplifting, drinking, the use of legal highs and ‘undesirable characters’ hanging around.
Traders have also said they are worried about the high number of hostels in Blackburn.
Mr Smith continued: “When we set up the BID, we made tackling crime one of four key themes we would be addressing.
“This breakfast meeting is giving the business managers and owners the opportunity to air their views and raise concerns.
“They can also find out what the BID, the police, the local authority and the stakeholders are doing about those issues.
“We’re spending £60k of levy payers’ money to work with the police and the council to make the town a safer, more secure place to shop and spend leisure time.”
All businesses in the town centre are invited to attend the free event, which starts with networking and breakfast from 7.30am, at Liz ‘n’ Lil’s tearoom, in Northgate. Presentations and discussion will take place from 8am to 9am.
Traders will also be given details on how the BID is investing in new CCTV cameras.
Contact Mark Stevenson on 01254 669038 or go to www.blackburnbid.co.uk