Ex-cop takes up new beat on Shopwatch

New Spalding Shopwatch coordinator Stuart Brotherton (right) with county coordinator Chris Brown of Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce.
New Spalding Shopwatch coordinator Stuart Brotherton (right) with county coordinator Chris Brown of Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce.

He patrolled the streets for about 30 years but now a retired Spalding police sergeant has taken on a new beat in tackling shoplifting.

Stuart Brotherton is putting his policing career to good use after taking over this month as co-ordinator of Spalding Shopwatch with the support of Spalding and District Chamber of Commerce.

His main role is persuading shops in the town to sign up to a radio security system designed to alert traders to suspected shoplifters before they have a chance to strike.

Stuart takes over from Barry Inman, a former police community support officer who ran the scheme for about eight years.

At a chamber meeting last Tuesday, Stuart said: “I retired from policing at the end of June but before I left, I provisionally agreed to take over from Barry as Shopwatch coordinator for Spalding.

“I thought there was plenty of scope in it and the aim is to keep shoplifting down because preventing it is better than detecting it.

“It’s a part-time role but it’s very intensive and there’s plenty to do.”

More than 20 Spalding retailers are in the scheme which Stuart now jointly runs with one in Sleaford and one of his first jobs is to try and persuade shops in Holbeach to become part of it as well.

He said: “I plan to get as many businesses involved as possible so that everyone, including the police, will then be able to work together as a community to deter crime in the town centres.”

Jason Rooke, chairman of Spalding Shopwatch, said: “I’m delighted to have Stuart on board and I can’t really think of a more ideal co-ordinator for Shopwatch with his policing experience.

“He’ll no doubt move things on very quickly and I’ll be there to support him.”