Industry Covid-19 Call: Key messages (7 April)

Industry Covid-19 Call: Key messages (7 April)

23 April 2020

Maintaining Lockdown: 2 weeks in

To help support members from a practical perspective, the industry call on April 7th covered the challenges surrounding maintaining lockdown of retail assets. We heard from members of the Security & Safer Shopping Committee and Guildford BID to share learnings across a range of portfolios and support our community through this difficult time. 

 

Chaired by Graham Williams, Chairman of the Revo Security & Safer Shopping Committee the call key messages were:

 

Counter Terrorism Policing update:

The Threat level remains at Substantial which means an attack is highly likely. It is unlikely COVID-19 can be utilised though terrorism. Travel is restricted.

There is a decrease threat of Right Wing terrorism.

Reduction of risk of protest; Extinction Rebellion has cancelled their protest planned for May.
Civil unrest; gatherings are restricted through social distancing measures.

Be aware that Furlough may cause disgruntlement for employees affected. Ensure clear policies are in place for working from home.

Continue to monitor high value items– have security in place. Commercial burglary has reduced but expect a spike as people return to buildings.

Signposted to NaCTSO E-learning suite of learning.

New Counter Terrorism ACT App launched: feedback from the Revo Security & Safer Shopping Committee has been positive in terms of the App’s use and content.



Chaired by Graham Williams, Chairman of the Revo Security & Safer Shopping Committee the call key messages were:

 

Counter Terrorism Policing update:

The Threat level remains at Substantial which means an attack is highly likely. It is unlikely Covid can be utilised though terrorism. Travel is restricted.

There is a decrease threat of Right Wing terrorism.

Reduction of risk of protest; Extinction Rebellion has cancelled their protest planned for May.

Civil unrest; gatherings are restricted through social distancing measures.

 

Be aware that Furlough may cause disgruntlement for employees affected. Ensure clear policies are in place for working from home.

 

Continue to monitor high value items– have security in place. Commercial burglary has reduced but expect a spike as people return to buildings.

 

Signposted to NaCTSO E-learning suite of learning

 

New Counter Terrorism ACT App launched: feedback from the Revo Security & Safer Shopping Committee has been positive in terms of the App’s use and content.  

 

Philip Jones Security Manager, Westfield London

Significant reduction across centre based team;  relying on security and facilities management personnel.

Budgets reduced almost at lockdown. Teams on site are being physically tested and recognised hostile reconnaissance from a crime perspective. Perpetrators are filming and scooters with masked riders have tried to bypass the barrier system in place.

Security systems remain in place.

 

Sara Jennings, Director of Guest & Customer Experience, Capital & Regional

Capital & Regional portfolio of community based centres; all remain open for essential services. Daily calls with centre teams, established core operation hours  and identified key challenges. A welfare system is in pace with support from Retail Trust https://www.retailtrust.org.uk/

Social distancing – provided guidance for supermarkets

Welfare system compliance service change saving statutory compliance

Weekly checks are in place to protect integrity of units and fabric of building. Statutory tests and inspections remain unaffected.  

Planning has moved to the point of bringing buildings back online post lockdown, to understand what does social distancing will look like.  Communications to the community will be vital.

Community outreach: food bags delivered to vulnerable community members and supermarket produce left over has been taken to food banks.

 

Richard Paxton, Operations Director, Praxis

Community focused centres, enclosed centres offer different challenges to open centres. Entrances and exits can be reduced down to manage flow of visitors and social distancing measures to manage queuing to get in to units.  

40-45% of teams have been furloughed following the reduction of footfall.

 

Kieran McMullan, Group Operating Officer  

Teams are providing Covid recovery cleaning, supporting clients requests.

Touchpoint cleaning, deep cleaning and decontamination. Issues surrounding people availability coming back from furlough. Staff may not be available so have checks in place.

 

Amanda Masters, CEO Experience Guildford

Safety of team is a priority, Town Rangers are seen as key workers acting as police support. It is a challenge to ensure they are safe community teams. Working with local Business Crime Reduction Partnership, undertaking town sweeps and  homeless outreach support.

Introduced positive messaging “I support Guildford”.

Identifying social media opportunities to support occupiers.

The town centre will evolve and recreate itself post Covid.

Strongly recommend collaboration between BID and retail place. Communication is key. See attached document

 

A checklist document for exit/re-opening strategy is being worked up by members of the Security Committee for sharing to the membership.

 

 

  1. The Property Managers Association have written to all landlords and state “We understand that there will be requirements to keep centres and parks safe and secure, however in the main this should be limited to a very minimum level to comply with H&S concerns, meaning that whilst schemes remain closed we would expect to see minimal expenditure coming through the service charge” - What is your interpretation of minimal expenditure for schemes still required to be partially open for necessity retailers trading?      
  1. What are the minimal numbers of people that are required on the site from a Fire, Health and Safety position – given the heavily reduced customer and retailer numbers?

Forget what standards we would normally expect, what is the bare minimum that we can do to keep the business operating?

What tasks can be postponed / cancelled?

Can we close down parts of a scheme if there are no businesses open?

Where contracts are in place, where possible, put them on hold or reduce down the service – e.g. Hygiene service where public toilets are closed or waste where we have only a few retailers open.

Waste, hygiene, window cleaning and a number of other sizeable contracts have been changed. All by negotiation rather than having to invoke contract terminations. In most cases, contractors have been happy to reduce services because they are struggling for resources or because they are happy that they will retain a full contract after COVID. For example one provider has agreed to put the contract on hold for the period of ‘lockdown’.