Shopwatch scheme expansion hopes

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Business leaders in Spalding are hopeful of expanding their Shopwatch scheme to more stores and locations after its success in preventing crime.

About 30 town stores are 
part of the radio scheme run by Spalding and District Chamber of Commerce and talks are ongoing to expand it to Holbeach in the near future.

Currently, 11 people have exclusion orders banning them from shops signed up to the scheme and police are investigating three incidents reported through Shopwatch which runs alongside CCTV in Spalding.

A report by Shopwatch coordinator Barry Inman, said: “If there is an incident on any of our members’ premises, it can be broadcast over the radio which alerts a CCTV operator who may be able to capture the incident or the offender on tape.

“This could then be used as evidence should it go to court.

“Shopwatch also alerts other members of the scheme who may be able to offer assistance, particularly if the incident is likely to involve violence or anti-social behaviour.”

Chamber members took over Shopwatch from CRASH (Crime Reduction in South Holland) in July 2012 and 
at one point, 26 people had 
exclusion orders against them.

The scheme also provides members with information from the police about suspected shoplifters and those believed to be responsible for anti-social behaviour in Spalding.

Chamber president Phil Scarlett said: “I would to see more businesses joining Shopwatch, including those from the night time economy.”