More than 40 businesses back Sidmouth ‘shop watch’ revival

PUBLISHED: 07:30 29 December 2017

PSCO Steve Blanchford-Cox and Sophie James from Fat Face, which has signed up to the Shop Watch scheme

PSCO Steve Blanchford-Cox and Sophie James from Fat Face, which has signed up to the Shop Watch scheme

Archant

Retailers across Sidmouth are signing up to a revived ‘shop watch’ scheme to share warnings when suspicious characters show up.

PSCO Steve Blanchford-Cox and Sophie James from Fat Face, which has signed up to the Shop Watch scheme PSCO Steve Blanchford-Cox and Sophie James from Fat Face, which has signed up to the Shop Watch scheme

PSCO Steve Blanchford-Cox said more than 40 store owners are keen to get involved, with others yet to be visited.

Fields of Sidmouth manager Brian Dowie last month called for the system to be revived after thieves cut security tags off several items – leaving him fearing the town is seen as a ‘soft target’ to crooks.

He told the Herald: “It hasn’t gone away. The sooner we can get the shop watch scheme up and running, the better.

“We know we had people in during the week who were trying to steal – people have specialist equipment. They have magnetic de-taggers or wire cutters.

“Businesses have got to report thefts, that’s the other issue. The police hierarchy look at the stats. Hopefully people are more aware they need to report thefts and attempted thefts – every time.”

He said, in a week at Fields before Christmas, thieves had cut tags off a jacket, but got interrupted so could not take it, and others had tried to get into the perfume cupboards.

“There are people we know are coming in to steal,” added Mr Dowie. “We share the details in the immediate area, but they could be shared with other businesses.

“We’re at a peak time of the year. We need this sooner rather than later. Businesses need to be aware and they need to be watching. The more people get on board with the shop watch scheme, the more comprehensive it’s going to be.”

PCSO Blanchford-Cox said: “The first phase of shop watch is the shops being signed up to Devon Alerts [a messaging system run by Devon and Cornwall Police].

“The second phase will be started in the new year with a possible telephone cascade system being introduced.

“Once done, there will be a bedding-in period where we can identify problems and tweak if necessary.

“I envisage a system that will evolve and utilise modern technology. It’s important to ensure that whatever system is in place it is user friendly, being quick and easy to use. That way we get maximum participation.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Residents will be able to benefit from free blood pressure checks this weekend thanks to the Sid Valley Rotary Club.

Read more

The shop at Sidmouth’s petrol station was raided by teenagers on the hunt for booze, it’s believed.

Read more

A Romanian vagrant has admitted raiding 11 churches to finance a three month summer holiday in Devon and Dorset.

Read more

An Ottery man who grew 23 cannabis plants, worth up to £19,000, in his garage to help with his bad back has been handed a community order.

Read more

Ottery residents better beware as mischievous pixies prepare to descend on the town next weekend.

Read more

Beekeepers in East Devon are on high alert as the battle against the Asian hornet hots up.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

Highway bosses have submitted fresh opposition to a new proposed business park at Sidford as ‘nothing has changed since the last time’.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:27

For one Sidmouth woman, the historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had a particular poignancy.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30

Residents across the Ottery and West Hill parishes are being encouraged to head to the polls next week to vote 
in a referendum about the area’s proposed Neighbourhood Plan.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:30

A successful weekend, including three sell out talks, means Sidmouth Literary Festival has now firmly set its deckchair on the front esplanade of literary events across the country.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sidmouth Herald twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications