Shop theft action launches in town

Castleford Town Centre partnership is launching a 'Shopwatch' scheme to discuss security and crime. Sgt Mike Astill with John Munday and David Bailey. (P542B345)

Castleford Town Centre partnership is launching a 'Shopwatch' scheme to discuss security and crime. Sgt Mike Astill with John Munday and David Bailey. (P542B345)

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Police are teaming up with retailers to crack down on town centre thefts on the run up to Christmas.

Castleford Town Centre Partnership has joined forces with Castleford neighbourhood policing team to encourage businesses to sign up to the Shopwatch scheme.

John Munday, chairman of the partnership, launched the project last week and is now urging the town’s traders to get involved.

He said: “This has come from a passion I have for increasing security for traders and working together with the police to fight crime and increase profitability in the town.

“At this time of year, there’s an increase in crime where the people that haven’t take from those they perceive have - leading to more attempts at shoplifting.

“Shopwatch is designed to protect traders and keep them safe from violence which is very common.”

The scheme will see police and traders meet every two months to discuss security and crime.

As part of the scheme, some shoplifters could be given a fine or given a ‘community resolution’ order, which involves helping those they’ve targeted.

A PSCO will also be based in the town centre and traders will be able to contact them to report crime on a dedicated mobile number.

Sgt Mike Astill, of the NPT, said: “We will look at increasing the use of fines and the resolution scheme, but that’s not to say we won’t get through the courts when necessary.

“This is about working together so traders can speak to us quickly and easily.”

Any town centre trader – whether on the high street, Carlton Lanes Shopping Centre, or the indoor and outdoor markets – are eligible to join Shopwatch.

Mr Munday added: “The aim is to increase the working partnerships and give traders a means of communication with the police to increase reporting of crime, so we have a true picture of what’s going on .”

Follow the Twitter hashtag #Casshopwatch for the date of the next meeting.