ShopCop police project to cut crime in Stourport

Shop owners have given their backing to a police initiative which is aimed at cracking down on shoplifters and people who commit fraud in Stourport.

The new scheme, called ShopCop, will link local shop owners and staff with local police teams through the use of a messaging service.

This will allow officers to pass along information and intelligence relating to shoplifters and those committing fraud in local shops.

Police support community officer Andy Stevens has driven the scheme forward from conception to launch.

He said: “Safer Neighbourhood Team officers will visit retailers involved in the scheme every week to offer assurance and discuss any new offences.

“Shoplifting may seem a low priority to some people, however, much like other offences, it is intrinsically linked to more serious and dangerous crime such as selling and buying drugs, burglary and assault.

“The cost to retailers is also increased and the scheme will help provide a communication link directly to those officers who know the area best and who will then know who to look out for and challenge.

“The community in Stourport deserve to live and work safely and this scheme will help us be made aware quickly of crimes when they are committed.

"It will also aid us in identifying those responsible so that action can be taken.”

The ShopCop scheme was officially unveiled at Stourport Civic Centre and shop owner Dave Glass, aged 43, who runs Mr Clean Calls, a dry cleaners and laundry business, said: "I think this it is absolutely essential to launch this as we have new businesses in the town.

"We have been trading for about 30 years and we have run different scheme but it is good to see this launched again as this will enable shop-owners to inform each other if they think an individual is in town and up to no-good.

"We will be able to send out a message for others to be more vigilant."

Rebecca Rowley, the 33-year-old supervisor of Euro Garages Stourport Service Station in Vale Road, said: "I think it is a wonderful idea and although I know it will not stop all thefts it will help deter a lot of criminal activity throughout the town."

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