Shops unite against crime with early warning system

WARNING: Pcsos Sophie Mitchell and Claire Fuller with traders William McDonald and Sarah Barrington.
WARNING: Pcsos Sophie Mitchell and Claire Fuller with traders William McDonald and Sarah Barrington.
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Business in Clare have joined forces to form a scheme to alert others to potential thieves.

The shop watch-style scheme has been introduced by Pcsos Sophie Mitchell and Claire Fuller.

It involves a business notifying two others by telephone about an incident – such as a theft, someone using fake money or acting suspiciously – under the aim of spreading the warning quickly through the town.

Sarah Barrington, owner of Blue Dog, a homeware and accessories shop in High Street, said: “It is reassuring to know it is there if we need it. It is great to have the police involved with local businesses, taking the initiative to bring us all together.”

The idea for the scheme came about following a distraction theft at a hairdressers earlier in the year. Thirty-five shops have joined so far.

William McDonald, from The Eye of Time vintage boutique, said: “The scheme means, as a group of businesses, we are looking out for each other.”

Members will be given crime prevention advice by police and stickers to display in their windows.

Pcso Mitchell said: “We hope that the scheme won’t have to be used very often, but having it in place offers peace of mind to all those involved that there is a system set up to pre-warn each other of any suspicious activity.

“It also helps build relationships between business owners.”