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Radios help tackle shop thefts

Celebrating the success of the shop radio scheme are Coun Elaine Silverwood, with fellow shopkeepers and local police.

Celebrating the success of the shop radio scheme are Coun Elaine Silverwood, with fellow shopkeepers and local police.

  • by Rebecca Draper
 

SHOPLIFTERS beware, shopkeepers are on to you – and they’re not afraid to shout about it.

That’s the message retailers in Kirkham and Wesham hope to convey after two successful weeks of using shop radios.

The scheme means 11 businesses in the towns are linked with each other and the on duty police sergeant.

And the businesses, members of Kirkham and Wesham Business Group, are making the most of their new links.

The group’s chairwoman, Elaine Silverwood, said: “The radios are on and off with messages of scams going around.

“We’re warning each other and the police are giving us descriptions of people to look out for.”

Elaine said the shop owners are currently warning each other of a £20 scam, where a customer buys a shop’s cheapest item, and pays using a £20 note.

Once the shop owner has given them their change, the customer says they realise they had the change to pay with it in the first place.

Elaine said: “They are trying it on with youngsters and people who appear nervous at the till.

“The person gets so confused they end up giving the customer the change for £20 as well as the original £20 note.

“We’ve seen this twice in one day in Kirkham.

“There are also some forged £20 notes about.”

The radios have been set up using funding from Fylde Council’s Community Safety programme and the crime-fighting charity LANPAC.

Kirkham and Wesham has paid for the annual licence needed to run the scheme.

Sgt Niamh O’Donoghue from Kirkham’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “It’s really important that businesses pull together to be the eyes and ears for each other. They contact is if they see someone suspicious, and we check them out.

“It’s all about working in partnership and making it difficult for criminals to commit crime in Kirkham.”

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