Shopwatch members doing their bit

THE positive news about crime reduction in the town is welcome from the town centre perspective.

It is something the police should be very proud of. I just wanted to add my thanks to the 140 or so members of the Shopwatch scheme in the town who work closely with the neighbourhood policing teams to eliminate shoplifting, violence and anti-social behaviour towards shop staff.

Special thanks should go to Priory Meadow which is the hub and mainstay of the Shopwatch scheme and to Asda without whose generous sponsorship, the scheme’s expansion to Silverhill would not have happened.

Business investment in the town and Shopwatch’s proactive stance has seen seven serial shoplifters excluded from our stores in 2011 already and at least 10 times that number sent strict warning letters informing them that their behaviour will not be tolerated by the businesses.

Only three of those sent warning letters have re-offended.

This is classic Big Society working in the best interests of the town centre.

ROB WOODS

Town Centre Manager