It is hoped the success of a new Shopwatch scheme in Spalding will encourage more businesses in Holbeach to join up.
Stuart Brotherton has been putting his former policing career to good use since September last year as co-ordinator of the scheme, supported by Spalding and District Chamber of Commerce.
Since then membership has grown to 31 and use of radios to alert other businesses of shoplifting, suspicious people or other incidents of concern has helped reduce the number of 999 calls to police.
Mr Brotherton said: “Thirty-six people are now banned from shops in Spalding and businesses are working together to reduce crime which is fantastic.”
Shopwatchers hashelped police detain a man who was on an arrest warrant, catch shoplifters from Boots and Hills and helped a husband in Sainsbury’s locate his wife who had dementia.
As well getting PCSOs on the scene quickly, Mr Brotherton said: “Avoiding having to make a 999 call is reducing the need for officers to be deployed who may be needed elsewhere. The scheme is about so much more than just catching shoplifters.”
Mr Brotherton plans to visit businesses in Holbeach on Tuesday, March 25, to encourage more independents to join the scheme.
He said: “In a way the event is D-Day for Holbeach – without the numbers we cannot progress.”