Campaign against shoplifters in Alfreton

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Businesses and stores throughout the Alfreton area are going online and working together to prevent retail crime.

It comes as the police and Amber Valley Community Safety Partnership, together with local shops, extend the Shop Watch online scheme throughout the borough.

The scheme, which was initially introduced in Alfreton in October 2010, has more than 60 members and is being rolled out across the borough.

Retailers who are part of the initiative have access to a secure online database of people who have been caught shoplifting.

As well as being able to log into the system, alerts are also sent out by email and text message whenever a new message is uploaded.

Members will be able to collectively ban offenders from stores throughout the Amber Valley area through the system.

Sgt Dave Harrison, of the Amber Valley Community Safety Partnership said: “Shop Watch Online is an additional tool we can use to raise awareness of suspicious incidents, give important crime prevention advice and improve communications between police and retailers.

“Our main aim is to get the message across that shoplifters are not welcome in the area.”

The scheme also provides businesses with stickers for doors or windows to act as a deterrent to thieves, free security advice and staff training and opportunities for networking with other local businesses.

Sgt Harrison added: “There has been an increase in shoplifting over the past few months across the area and it is something we are keen to reduce, and we are confident that we can target this by encouraging members to work collectively alongside their local police.”

Between 1st April and 11th June there have been a total of 137 shoplifting offences recorded in the Amber Valley, 22 more than in the same period during 2012.

Coun Chris Short, cabinet member for Safe and Secure Places to Live said: “It might seem that retail crime is a victimless crime, but that isn’t the case as honest shopkeepers suffer because of these thefts.

“Our residents also suffer as the costs of retail 
related crime get passed onto the community through prices.

“We are committed to helping target and reduce this issue, working alongside the police and local retailers. I would encourage stores to come on board with the initiative and help us to reduce the impact on businesses and our communities.”

Retailers interested in taking part in the scheme should contact Sally Price, shop watch administrator on 01773 841652.