Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce

Spalding & District Area Chamber

The fastest growing business group in the
South Holland area

Link to Lincolnshire Chanber of Commerce Home page

The ShopWatch Scheme


Notes April 2018


Number of Spalding members - 33
Number of Pubwatch members – 16
Number of Holbeach members - 11

Possibles: Waters Edge have decided not to join Pubwatch. No news from Homebase, Holland & Barrett or B&M.

Number excluded at Spalding at time of report: 55 for Shopwatch (4 of which are lifetime bans). Pubwatch has 17 excluded (4 of which are lifetime bans).

Number excluded at Holbeach at time of report: 4

Outlook: Continuous efforts are being made to boost both Spalding and Holbeach Shopwatch membership. I am still hopeful that Holbeach Tesco will rejoin but the remainder of the towns shops/stores are small independents who simply cannot afford the scheme. In Spalding it is understood that Homebase are tightening expenditure but I am hopeful of a postive response from Holland & Barrett.

Challenges:

The past 3 months or so have seen a considerable increase in shop theft offences reported to Shopwatch. In percentage terms a 60% increase. This is largely due the actions of a small number of repeat offenders. There has also been a noticeable increase in offences committed by Romanians most of which are undetected. I have been wholly dissatisfied by the way courts are dealing with repeat offenders and as a result have involved our local MP John Hayes. He has contacted the Justice Secretary and I have had a written response. I will discuss this at the next meeting I am present at. All issues with Lincs police involving information sharing etc now resolved.

Opportunities: None at this time

STUART BROTHERTON - BUSINESS WATCH COODINATOR

 

BACKGROUND

CRASH (Crime Reduction Action South Holland) was created in June 2006 and started to operate from 1st April 2007. It was a partnership set up to tackle crime against business along with being a deterrent towards antisocial behaviour in the district. Initially funds to set up the scheme came from Spalding Town Forum, the Crime & Disorder Partnership, Lincs Police, and Action Against Business Crime.

In 2008/09 £10K of European Union funding was secured to develop the project and this helped CRASH remain solvent and not have to request funding from scheme members for a considerable period.

The scheme was transferred in 2012 to the Spalding Area of the Chamber of Commerce and renamed ShopWatch. Lincolnshire Chamber operate a number of ShopWatch schemes throughout the county.

 

SOME SAD FACTS

  • On the busiest shopping day of the year, the last Saturday before Christmas, British retailers lose around £50,000 of stock every minute - that’s £26.4 million in one day.
  • Britain has topped the European shoplifting rankings for the past 7 years, with more than £1.5 billion worth of products being stolen every year.
  • More than 700,000 people shoplift every year and as a result every household in Britain will have to pay an extra £150 a year for their goods.
  • 21% of shoplifters regards supermarkets as the easiest place for shoplifting followed by DIY centres.
  • Razor blades are the most stolen item followed by cosmetics, alcohol, toiletries, lingerie, CDs and DVDs.

 

HOW IT WORKS

ShopWatch is a scheme which brings businesses together for the common purpose of reducing retail crime.This is primarily achieved through a radio network linked to the police and enables members to pass prompt warnings to each other when they spot known shoplifters heading their way or crimes in the area. The two-way radio is monitored by the local town CCTV and police beat teams who attempt to respond to calls for assistance from our shops.

ShopWatch has led to arrests and prosecutions for retail crime, the return of stock, and shop staff feel safer knowing there’s a community of at least 30 retailers watching out and listening in to what’s going on in our busy shopping streets.

A photograph gallery of "banned" individuals is produced and updated monthly. This list is circulated to all ShopWatch members.

Our ShopWatch Co-ordinator meets the police regularly to discuss any incidents, share their and members concerns.

 

WHAT MEMBERS THINK OF SHOPWATCH

  • "Shopwatch is very useful for smaller shops whose staff feel secure knowing their neighbours are listening in."
  • "It’s refreshing to have proper community support. The radio is invaluable – especially when you’re on your own. It’s great that no bit of information is too small to put out and you're taken seriously – these days you just can’t call 999 and report a suspected shoplifter."
  • "We need the extra security of Shopwatch because we do have an open door policy."
  • "We have no store security so hearing that known shoplifters are heading our way means we get all our staff on the shopfloor. If you say hello to thieves, they know they’ve been spotted and soon disappear."
  • "The radio makes you feel safe, especially when you’re in the shop alone. The codewords are perfect for describing shoplifters while they're still there, but without them realising."

 

HOW TO JOIN

Shopwatch is open to retailers and other businesses in Spalding. To join or learn more about the scheme you can contact Stuart Brotherton. Stuart retired from Lincolnshire Police in 2013 after 30 years service and has a wealth of experience on crime and community issues.

Tel: 01775 719514

Mob: 07985419146

E-mail: chamberbusinesswatch'at'btconnect.com