11 October 2011
25 Blackwood businesses have joined forces with Caerphilly County Borough Council and Blackwood's Neighbourhood Policing Team to launch the Blackwood Retail Partnership.
The aim of the partnership is to increase the detection of crime and therefore reduce incidents of crime, by improving information shared between shops, businesses, the police and the council – and there are further businesses keen to join the scheme this month!
The new scheme will complement the existing 'Storenet' radio scheme that has been in place for several years.
Blackwood town centre Ward Officer PC Adam Lang said: "Retail crime affects us all. This partnership will allow a free flow of information between local stores and the police. The names of the offenders have been well known in Blackwood town for a long time, but a name is useless without being able to put it to a face. We now have the mechanism to give these photographs to the stores, and the staff will now have a real chance to be able to identify the offenders before they commit the offence".
He continued, "My message to the offenders is 'I know who you are and now the shops do too'".
Cllr Ron Davies, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning said: "There is no doubting that businesses, especially smaller retailers, are finding these current economic times difficult, which is why I am full of praise for innovative schemes such as this".
He continued: "By having the ability to share information about offenders of retail crime both among businesses and with the police, we are able to provide real assistance to business owners whose finances may be taking a real hit because a small minority of people feel it is acceptable to behave in this manner".
Secretary for the partnership and Store Manager of Wilkinson's in Blackwood, Lisa Lewis explained, "This scheme will benefit stores immensely, as we will be able to identify and name offenders either straight away or when reviewing CCTV footage. In the first week alone, I was able to identify an offender responsible for £500 of loss by matching him to one of the photographs. On top of this, the same male tried to enter the shop the next day, but as staff are now all fully aware of him, they were able to watch him and prevent a further theft".
Town Centre Development Manager for Caerphilly County Borough Council, Andrew Highway was instrumental in developing the scheme along with colleagues from the Blackwood Neighbourhood Policing Team.
If any shops would like more information on becoming part of the Blackwood Retail Partnership, please contact Blackwood Police Station on 01495 233 966 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on Blackwood town centre development, please contact Andrew Highway on 01443 866213.
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