Business Watch scheme launched in Thetford

SHOPKEEPERS will be able to keep a closer check on local troublemakers in Thetford following the launch of a new scheme to crackdown on retail theft.

SHOPKEEPERS will be able to keep a closer check on local troublemakers in Thetford following the launch of a new scheme to crackdown on retail theft.

The Breckland Business Watch is a joint project between Breckland Council and Norfolk Police and aims to build on the Thetford Shop Watch scheme.

The initiative, which has been introduced in the run-up to Christmas, will enable retailers to view information and photographs of wanted persons, those who have been disruptive on business premises, offenders who are on bail, and those who are subject to antisocial behaviour or court orders.

The web-based crime management system (SIRCS) will be operated by social enterprise organisation Empowering Communities with the aim of reducing shoplifting incidents.


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Grahame Green, Breckland's community safety officer, said the district council aimed to launch the scheme in its other market towns in 2010 to complement a new CCTV system.

“Shops are especially vulnerable to shoplifting over the Christmas and New Year period, so this was the ideal time to launch Breckland Business Watch. SIRCS is very easy to use, and needs only an ordinary computer or mobile phone to access the system,” he said.

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All shopkeepers using the scheme will have to sign up to a number of terms and conditions to ensure responsible use.

Thetford police inspector Adam Hayes added: “Breckland Business Watch will be a bolt-on to the already well established Thetford Shop Watch scheme that has been in operation in the town for the past 6 years. We fully support any initiative that will reduce business-related crime especially beyond the retail industry.”

For more information, contact community safety officer Grahame Green on 01362 656870, or e-mail grahame.green@breckland.gov.uk

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