Joint effort to say: “Sidmouth is not an easy target for shop-lifters’

Marc Kilsbie

Marc Kilsbie - Credit: Archant

Police and business owners taking action to tackle thieves over festive period

Sidmouth will not be an easy target for thieves this festive season thanks to collaborative efforts of police and traders.

A joint initiative to combat shop lifting in the town is already proving successful, with business owners working together and sharing information about incidents and suspicious activity.

Police are also stepping up their presence over the seasonal shopping period and will be conducting a series of plain clothes operations to stop potential thieves in their tracks.

Speaking at a local action group meeting this week, Marc Kilsbie (pictured, below), of Flo and Us in Fore Street, said the aim is to get people across the town’s stores communicating in order to prevent sprees of shoplifting.

Businesses in the town were hit by a spate of break-ins this summer and are sending the message to potential criminals that Sidmouth is not a soft touch.

Mr Kilsbie said: “We are working together to combat shoplifting in Sidmouth. This weekend, someone came into me and informed me of shoplifters and we spread the word around the shops in the town.”

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He said problems with shoplifting tend to be particularly prevalent at weekends, but that Sidmouth should not be viewed as a provincial town that is an easy target.

Sergeant Andy Squires, of Sidmouth’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “In the lead-up to Christmas, we will be doing a series of shoplifting operations in the town.

“We are liaising with shopkeepers to establish when their key risk days are.

“We are going to be out and about patrolling and doing plain clothes operations.”

Community safety co-ordinator Gerry Moore added: “The East and Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership fully supports both the police and local shopkeepers in their efforts to tackle theft from shops in Sidmouth.

“Sidmouth has a lot of small businesses and they can ill-afford to lose money in these very difficult times as a result of persons stealing from them.”