Holbeach is set to become a much safer place to shop and run a business – thanks to a new Shopwatch scheme.
Following on from the success of the scheme in Spalding, which now boasts 32 businesses working together to alert others of shoplifting activity, 12 businesses in Holbeach have already signed up, with others “waiting to see how things go”.
Stuart Brotherton, co-ordinator of the scheme which is supported by Spalding and District Chamber of Commerce, said he is “ecstatic about the take-up.”
He said: “It’s a fantastic scheme because it brings everyone together and gets shop owners communicating.
“In Spalding you can have 22 of the 32 shops in the scheme signing in on their radios in the morning, which is much better than a year ago when I took on the role.
“Because it’s open mic everyone is alerted immediately if anything kicks off. Our partnership with the police means anyone who is banned from entering a shop and understands that but commits theft is now classed as trespassing and could face a burglary charge. That is a real deterrent to anyone who thinks it’s a joke.”
Thirty-six people are on the ‘banned’ list in Spalding, but last month there was only one recorded act of shoplifting - a real result when the national cost of theft to retailers is estimated to be £750million.
Retailers are expected to go ‘live’ after the new CCTV system is launched in September. Members include Tescos, Boyes and Boots, as well as independents such as Holbeach Wholefoods and The Flower Basket. They will be at Tescos next Thursday, July 3, at 11am to promote the scheme. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0798541146 for details.