Shop Watch Lowestoft scheme launched to reduce crime in town centre
- Credit: Archant
An innovative new scheme aimed at reducing crime and keeping the town centre safe has launched in Lowestoft.
As part of its ongoing programme in 2017 to improve Lowestoft town centre to shoppers and visitors, Lowestoft Vision this week launched Shop Watch Lowestoft.
And Lowestoft Vision – the town's business improvement district (BID) – has also extended its contract with Suffolk Constabulary to joint fund a dedicated BID PCSO.
The scheme has been trialed in recent weeks ahead of the official launch, with Shop Watch Lowestoft seen as a way of combating crime in the business improvement district area.
Businesses who have signed up to the scheme are able to share criminal incidents with other firms. Anyone committing a crime in the town centre and surrounding area will be given an official warning and be added to the database. Those committing a repeat offence in the town will then receive a six month ban from participating businesses.
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Dan Poitras, Britten Centre manager and director of Lowestoft Vision, said: 'Since 2013 Lowestoft Vision has been committed to reducing crime in the BID area. In 2015 Lowestoft Vision part funded a dedicated PCSO for the BID area who has successfully helped us to deal with issues around theft, street drinking and parking. Shop Watch Lowestoft will complement current projects such as the town security radio scheme and provide businesses with the resources to combat crime'.
Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: 'I am very pleased to work closely with Lowestoft Vision to improve the town centre for both local residents and visitors. The joint funded PCSO has made a significant impact in the area and it is great news that the contract for this dedicated PCSO will be continued. Keeping the town centre safe is essential for the economy too, and I am committed – through my Police and Crime Plan - to do all I can to make Suffolk a safer place in which to live, work, travel and invest.'
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Shop Watch Lowestoft is available free of charge to all Lowestoft Vision members. Those taking part in the scheme will shortly be displaying the official Lowestoft Shop Watch logo.
Tracey Metcalfe, store manager Wilko Lowestoft, said: 'Lowestoft Vision has created a scheme which enables us as businesses to work together and reduce crime in the town centre.'
Any business wanting to take part in the scheme can join by contacting Lowestoft Vision via firstname.lastname@example.org