Surge in shoplifting

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More shops in Belper have signed up to a scheme to prevent theft following a surge in shoplifting.

Between April 1 and June 11, there were a total of 137 shoplifting offences recorded in the Amber Valley, 22 more than in the same period during 2012.

Now, a Shopwatch scheme is being extended throughout Belper and surrounding villages as well as other parts of Amber Valley.

Sixty shops across the borough, including nine in Belper, now have access to a secure online database of people who have been caught shoplifting as part of the scheme run by police and Amber Valley Community Safety Partnership.

As well as being able to log into the system, alerts are also sent out by email and text message whenever a new message is uploaded.

Members are able to 
collectively ban thieves and troublemakers from stores throughout the Amber Valley area through the system.

Sergeant Dave Harrison, of the Amber Valley Community Safety Partnership said: “There has been an increase in shoplifting over the past few months across the area and it is something we are keen to reduce, and we are confident that we can target this by encouraging members to work collectively alongside their local police.”

Derbyshire County Councillor Chris Short, cabinet member for safe and secure places to live, said: “We are committed to helping target and reduce this issue, working alongside the police and local retailers.

“I would encourage stores to come on board with the initiative and help us to reduce the impact on businesses and our communities.”

Retailers interested in taking part in the scheme should contact Sally Price, Shop Watch Administrator on 01773 841652.