Church Stretton becomes first town to join police retail initiative

A town in south Shropshire has become the first to follow a police initiative aimed at reducing high street crime.

Stuart Wright, of Wrights Estate Agent and John Vine, of Sandford Hardware, with members of West Mercia Police
Stuart Wright, of Wrights Estate Agent and John Vine, of Sandford Hardware, with members of West Mercia Police

Earlier this week, all retailers and businesses in Church Stretton were offered We Don’t Buy Crime property marking kits, which include SmartWater forensic property marking and warning stickers.

Retailers can display the stickers in their window warning would-be thieves property within the shop is marked.

Signage will now also be placed at the entrances to the town centre warning thieves crime prevention steps have been taken.

It will be up to the retailer to decide which items they mark, and as the liquid is invisible to the naked eye, thieves will not know if the item they are stealing has been marked.

The initiative aims to act as a deterrent to shoplifters and burglars, helping to make the town centre a safer place for the community.

Shropshire Policing Commander, Superintendent Mo Lansdale, said: “I’m really pleased we’re able to provide retailers in Church Stretton with our We Don’t Buy Crime anti-theft kits.


“The town centre is generally a safe place, however, we know the impact crimes such as burglary and theft can have, particularly on smaller retailers where shoplifting can have a huge impact on their livelihood.

“We know most retailers already have good crime prevention and security measures in place and this initiative is the latest step in helping them and helping to make the town centre even more undesirable to thieves.”

The scheme is the latest part of We Don’t Buy Crime Towns & Villages, first launched in Cleobury Mortimer in 2015, aimed at tackling acquisitive crime and associated harm.

Since then the award-winning project, which is supported by West Mercia and Police Crime Commissioner John Campion, now has five main strands including work with second-hand stores, fuel stations, utilising covert tactics and working with communities to tackle associated harm.

Earlier this month, farmers were offered We Don’t Buy Crime farm packs.

The initiative's dedicated inspector, Ram Aston, said: “We Don’t Buy Crime is absolutely committed to doing all we can to support our local communities and help prevent people from being a victim of not just acquisitive crime but associated harm too.”

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