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Sunday 10 May 2015

Anti-crime community initiative scoops top award


A community scheme to tackle town centre crime in Crewe and Nantwich has scooped a top award.

‘Stamp crime out of town’ (Scoot), a business crime partnership successfully operating across Crewe and Nantwich for the past 13 years, has been given a Safer Business Award ‘with distinction’ for the second year running. 

The award followed assessment by the Association of Business Crime Partnerships (ABCP).

The partnership, which consists of Cheshire East Council’s partnerships and communities team, Cheshire police and local traders, uses a radio network to alert members about crime, suspicious people and anti-social behaviour.

Steph Cordon, Cheshire East Council’s head of communities said: “It is fantastic news that Scoot has again received this award. 

“This shows how crime can be tackled effectively when businesses team up with statutory agencies to tackle the very local issues that affect not only the business community but also the users and indeed the passers-by of those businesses too. Well done to all those involved.” 

The close working relationship of members of the radio link, Cheshire East CCTV and Cheshire police officers who carry Scoot radios in the town centres, benefits all who work in and use the town centres. 

Last year, a stabbing incident in Crewe town centre resulted in the swift arrest of the suspected attacker and the scheme has also contributed to an eight per cent reduction in retail crime over the past 12 months.  

Sgt Dave Levins, of Cheshire police, said: “Shoplifting has a significant impact on policing resources – particularly in relation to both officers’ time and the costs involved in processing offenders through the criminal justice system.

“Retail crime is not victimless and has a profound effect on the economy of Crewe. Scoot is one of the ways in which the police are involved in a multi-agency approach in tackling retail crime with a view to deterring and disrupting would-be thieves.  

“Scoot enables representatives from Cheshire police, Cheshire East and CCTV to work together with retailers in the town to enable information to be shared, offenders to be identified quickly and thus reduce instances of theft and other associated crime, such as purse-dipping.

“We have dedicated town centre officers and PCSOs who provide a highly-visible policing presence in Crewe and I welcome retailers to speak to our officers, while they are out on patrol, to discuss security issues that are relevant to them.”

Scoot was recognised to be operating on a par with partnerships in other areas, such as Chester, Trafford Centre and Manchester, and praised for its liaison with the local Polish-speaking community to alert them to crime issues. 

Andrew Carter, of Carters Jewellers, in Queensway, Crewe, said: “An effective working partnership is of paramount importance to the town centres. We are all very proud of the achievements and will continue to grow.”

Scoot chairman Ralph Lewis said: “This award is down to the hard work and dedicated commitment of all members of the partnership.  We will continue the work and have plans to develop the partnership further across Cheshire East in the near future.”

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