Marble Arch Street Team
The Marble Arch Street Team continue to patrol the BID area Monday to Saturday. We have amended their hours to reflect lower footfall, with the team now available from 12 noon to 8pm, supporting our operational members and ensuring the security of those stores that have temporarily closed.
From 21-30 May they will operate until 10pm to encourage locals to follow social distancing measures during Ramadan and over Eid.
Their rota and breaks have been adjusted so they have more frequent access to hand-washing facilities. They have also been trained to stand side-on rather than face-to-face with members of the public.
To contact the Street Team please email email@example.com or call 07825 750 777. If you are worried about your business being unoccupied, the Street Team can add your premises to their patrol route. Please just get in touch.
Remember, if a crime is in progress or in an emergency, please call 999. To report a crime that has already taken place please call 101.
Marble Arch London BID, through our membership of the West End Security Group, has access to regular briefings with Westminster City Council, The Metropolitan Police and Public Health Westminster. We benefit from weekly calls in which status updates, operational issues and policing plans are shared.
You might find these Top 10 Security Tips for Closed Business Premises useful.
Please have a look at all our Security resources on our Resources page.
What powers do the police have?
The police are enforcing social distancing measures to help fight coronavirus. They have the power to:
- Detain someone to be tested if they are believed to be infectious
- Close non-essential businesses
- Restrict your right to leave your home without reasonable excuse
- Ban you from being in a public gathering of more than two people
What is a reasonable excuse to leave home?
- Going shopping for “basic necessities” (food, medicine and items essential for the home)
- Exercise, including with family members
- Travelling to and from work, if “absolutely necessary”
- Helping someone else with their care, off to the doctor, or carrying out another public service
- Fleeing harm – for example, domestic abuse.
What punishments and fines can police enforce?
- If someone refuses to follow the regulations, officers can give them an on-the-spot fine of £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.
- If they keep breaking the law, more fines can be given, up to a maximum of £960.
- Police could ultimately charge someone with the more serious criminal offence of breaching coronavirus regulations and a direction to follow them. This could lead to a conviction in a magistrates court and an unlimited fine.
Fraud and Cyber Risks
Our day-to-day life has changed drastically over the last few weeks. We are spending more time at home and online. Unfortunately, criminals will use every opportunity they can to scam innocent people and their businesses.
The Fraud Advisory Panel and the Government Counter Fraud Function have identified some emerging issues:
- COVID-19 phishing emails and telephone calls masquerading as the UK government or other trusted entities such as WHO, doctors surgeries and local authorities.
- The threat from mandate fraud has increased during the COVID-19 response. Mandate fraud is a fraudulent request to change a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate in order to divert payments or to create new payments. Find out more here.
- There are concerns about devices that would not be permitted in the workplace being used by employees working from home.
- With people working from home, video conferencing is now used daily and comes with its own security risks. Outsiders can gain access to virtual meeting rooms, cyber attackers can target users with malicious links disguised as conference links to steal personal information or inject malicious code into installer programs and even control a user’s webcam and microphone. The National Cyber Security Centre has put together some useful tips on how to use video conferencing safely.
- An increase in app and game-based malware could result in data leakage, premium text and call fraud and a rise in direct debit disputes.
- With call centres moving to home working there are concerns that organised crime groups could try to exploit this and apply for jobs in call centres to harvest data from the inside.
- An increase in companies being established with COVID in their name might give rise to new fraud risks.
The Home Office has published guidance on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cyber crime.
Standard business insurance policies are designed and priced to cover standard risks and are therefore very unlikely to provide cover for the effects of global pandemics like COVID-19. This includes forced closure by the authorities.
Businesses may have chosen to purchase cover that will specifically provide for business interruption arising from notifiable or infectious diseases. For certain notifiable disease extensions cover may apply if other policy conditions are met. However, this type of extension is not commonly included as standard. Furthermore, the likely costs to businesses of cover that would include more unusual risks – such as those posed by new diseases – would be prohibitive.
Most ‘notifiable disease’ extensions tend to cover specific diseases that will be named in the cover. If Covid-19 is not specified, then cover may not apply. Some notifiable disease extensions are more general and do not specify certain diseases. In these cases, business interruption cover for Covid-19 may apply if Covid-19 is present in the business.
Businesses who are concerned about the impacts of Covid-19 should check the scope of their cover, and check with their insurance adviser or broker (Source: Association of British Insurers)
Matthew Dewen, director at hospitality insurance company Full-Time Cover, explains why the vast majority of restaurants can’t claim for business interruption during the ongoing Coronavirus crisis here.