Sunday, 8 November 2009

Alarming news for thieves

Crime-fighting partners and local businesses have joined forces in the war against thieves, with the launch of a new initiative this week.

Members of the Rhondda Cynon Taf Business Crime Partnership, which includes shops across Pontypridd and Talbot Green, have purchased hundreds of purse/wallet bells to give to identified customers in the busy period leading up to Christmas.

The bells, which sound a warning if an attempt is made to steal a purse/wallet, are just one of a number of initiatives being delivered by the Business Crime Partnership on behalf of shoppers, residents and those who socialise in town centres.

The decision to purchase the anti-crime bells was made following a spate of thefts, which led to a significant police investigation and the subsequent jailing of an offender for 21 months.

However, as the festive season draws near, shopper numbers increase and the Business Crime Reduction Partnership is keen to continue its work to protect residents, especially the elderly or vulnerable.

It is committed to doing all it can to prevent crime and deter offenders and member premises across Pontypridd and Talbot Green will be giving out the bells, free of charge, to identified shoppers in the coming weeks, along with crime prevention advice.

The Business Crime Reduction Partnership is a unique and successful scheme that has seen local businesses recognise the important role they play in creating safer, more vibrant and attractive town centres.

They have joined forces with each other, the council and the police to put in place a number of measures to reduce offending and ensure town centres remain crime-free.

All member premises meet regularly with the police and the council to share information and get details of the latest crimes, offenders, suspicious activity, scams and initiatives so they can be proactive and prepared.

They have a shared radio system that allows them to communicate directly with each other, police officers and CCTV operators and also access to a police database with details of offenders and their methods.

They have introduced schemes that have seen the banning of offenders from all member premises and also delivered high profile crime reduction initiatives that have had tangible results against crime figures and crime trends.

As the busy festive period draws near, the partners step up their activity, with special briefings, surveys of shops by experts to study how stock is displayed and if it is a magnet for offenders, shared information and more.

Cllr John David, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We are so proud of the commitment and achievement of our Business Crime Reduction Partnerships and the issuing of these bells is the latest in a series of successful initiatives they have delivered on behalf of their customers and the wider issue of town centre safety.

“We are lucky that the issues we face in our town centres are not disproportionate and are no different to those seen in towns across the country.

“But our aim is always to ensure they are even safer, even more attractive and even more vibrant for the benefit of the businesses, shoppers and workers alike.

“By joining together and then working hand in hand with the Police and the Council, these traders are making a real difference – reducing crime, reassuring the community and sending a clear message to offenders that they are not welcome.”

Inspector Steve Jones, who heads neighbourhood policing in Taff Ely, added: “The Business Crime Reduction Partnership is delivering tangible results across Pontypridd and Talbot Green.

“Those visiting these areas for work, shopping or socialising can be reassured that offenders who are not welcome have been banned, shop staff and their workers are fully briefed on all issues and how to respond to them and we have a strong network of people working constantly on behalf of the safety of our communities.”


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