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Plea for businesses to get involved in Market Drayton shopwatch scheme

By Rob Smith | Market Drayton | Crime | Published:

Market Drayton's police team will this week launch a second attempt at establishing a 'shopwatch' scheme to protect the town's businesses from thieves, after only five people turned up to the first meeting.

PC Alan Ambrose

This Friday evening, May 31, the Market Drayton safer neighbourhood team (SNT) will host a meeting at the town hall, with everyone who runs a business in the town urged to take part.

It follows an initial meeting on May 7, hosted by Constable Alan Ambrose of the SNT, with the aim of building a network of shops to communicate over radio and share information.

It was set up after a series of break-ins and attempted burglaries in Market Drayton earlier this year sparked fears that the town was being overrun with crime.

PC Ambrose said that the scheme would take inspiration from the existing, successful pubwatch operation, which publicans run with the help of police officers who deliver banning orders.

But the meeting on May 7 attracted only five people from the business community.

Carla Mansueto attended with a colleague, and was dismayed at the turnout.

Carla, who works as an office administrator at Talbot Bookkeeping in the town, said: "We were both disappointed at the turnout considering what had been going on.

"The turnout was pretty poor. A lot of people said they hadn't heard about it or they had replied and they hadn't had feedback.

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"It is a shame. As a small community we do need to stick together.

"Shopwatch helps people be aware of what's going on, and I don't think a lot of people are. They are a bit oblivious to how bad things have been getting.

"I think it is a fantastic idea, and I hope more people come along this time."

Interest

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PC Ambrose said leaflets advertising the first meeting had been hand-delivered to businesses.

He said that the ideal shopwatch scheme would be run by a committee of shop owners with police help, and would be an "asset" to the town's business community.

Anyone who is unable to get to the meeting on Friday can email marketdrayton.snt@westmercia.pnn.police.uk to register their interest and get involved.

The second meeting this Friday will begin at 7pm at the town hall in Frogmore Road. Entrance is via the side door.

Mick Sturland, a former police constable who retired from the Market Drayton (SNT) in 2017, spoke of the effectiveness of the schemes.

On social media he said: "Up until 2017, I was SNT Officer at [Market] Drayton and we ran successful Pub & Shop watch schemes in town in partnership with the then-Chamber of Commerce, licensees and business owners.

"Then the Chamber collapsed due to lack of members and the rest is history. These schemes only work if there is active involvement from businesses.

"Having seen how good these schemes can be, I would urge anyone with a business in Drayton to join and get involved. They do reduce crime and anti-social behaviour."

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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