ShopWatch demo is great success

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ShopWatch demo is great success

Posted: 16/07/2008 18:52:42

A real-time demonstration of Albrighton’s new ShopWatch scheme in action proved a bigger success than imagined, after the ‘offenders’ were apprehended quicker than anyone thought.

Thanks to the excellent response of traders and the CCTV system, many of them not even aware the incident was a role play as part of the Albrighton Fayre on Sunday afternoon, the two teenagers playing the part of shoplifters were ‘caught’ within minutes.

Some members of the public even heard the descriptions being passed over the radios and were pointing out who the offenders were and where they had gone.

Community Support Office Jacqui Fletcher, from Albrighton’s Local Policing Team, planned the demonstration to show how well the ShopWatch scheme was working since its introduction earlier this year.

“At approximately 2.45pm on Sunday, we carried out a real-time scenario of two people shoplifting in Albrighton, with goods taken from Albrighton Eye Centre,” she said.

“The ‘shoplifters’ headed into the Crown car park and staff in the shop gave a very good description, which allowed CCTV to follow them around the village. The police were called and other ShopWatch members were radioed the report.

“The two were ‘arrested’ much sooner than we expected because of the excellent response from traders and CCTV. Members of the public were also hearing the descriptions over the radios and pointing out to us who and where the offenders were.

“Some traders did not know this was a role play and the public certainly didn’t, but their reactions to the situation was fantastic and ensured they were apprehended quickly.”

CSO Fletcher said she hoped the scenario had shown local people how effective such a system could be and encouraged all shop staff to use their radios to combat crime and reassure their customers.

Albrighton ShopWatch was set up by the local Trader’s Association, under the guidance of CSO Fletcher, and has already been declared a big success in tackling shoplifting and related crime in the village.

It uses a radio link between businesses and the police to pass on information about suspects, working in conjunction with the CCTV system to detect shoplifters and those banned from stores.

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