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Police relaunch scheme in bid to stop shoplifters at Victoria Retail Park in Netherfield

The Shopwatch radio scheme is being relaunched at Victoria Retail Park in Netherfield

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Retailers are teaming up with police and street wardens in an effort to target shoplifters and protect communities this festive season.

The Shopwatch radio scheme is being relaunched at Victoria Retail Park in Netherfield, meaning businesses can instantly contact each other and alert other retailers and the police when persistent shoplifters are in the area.

With Christmas shopping in full swing and footfall ramping up, the reintroduction of the scheme comes thanks to national Safer Streets funding awarded to Nottinghamshire, secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

PICTURED: (l to r) Niki Pekal community safety officer with Gedling Borough Council, Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry and Gedling Borough councillor David Ellis

Operations run by the Gedling Operation Reacher team are also taking place throughout December at the retail park to tackle retail and vehicle crime – along with additional high visibility patrols all being given the green light as part of a rounded partnership approach to keep people safe.

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To increase the public’s safety even more two brand new Safer Streets wardens have also been employed by Gedling Borough Council as part of the funding.

They will provide an extra layer of visible uniformed presence in the retail park as well as the nearby Colwick Industrial Park.

Inspector Mark Stanley, District Commander for Gedling, said: “My Reacher team is already out there this month targeting those intent on causing misery for shoppers, businesses, and residents.

“The reintroduction of the Shopwatch scheme and two street wardens will only contribute to the public having that extra security net and knowledge someone is always there to help when they are out shopping.

“These schemes wouldn’t be possible without the relationships we have with our partners and thanks to a joined-up approach between us all and our combined objective to keep the public and community safe – initiatives like this can be relaunched and help keep retailers and shoppers safe.

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“The Safer Streets funding is incredibly helpful in helping to add more CCTV cameras and automatic number plate recognition cameras but also helping those people who have been burgled and offering them free security devices such as doorbell cameras and locks.

“Looking after the people of Gedling is our top priority and working alongside our partners only helps us make sure communities are protected.”

The relaunch and extra security initiatives are one of a series of safety measures coming to Netherfield and Colwick after the area was announced as benefitting from a share of £3million Safer streets funding secured by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire. 

Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “While these measures are starting to come into place in the busiest time for retailers in run up to Christmas, they are being funded until late 2023, so they will have lasting impact on safety in public places across Netherfield and Colwick.

“Working alongside Nottinghamshire Police and Gedling Borough Council, we have come up with a huge package of public safety initiatives that are in addition to the work that these partner agencies already do all year round.

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“As well paying for extra police patrols, two new Safer Streets wardens and the Shopwatch radio scheme, there will also be significant investment in new CCTV cameras and automatic number plate recognition cameras, as well as street lighting to make people feel safer.

“We will also be offering burglary victims some free security devices such as doorbell cameras and locks, while car parks and residential street parking will be upgraded to make them safer and prevent vehicle crime.”

A total of £750,000 of this funding is allocated to the Nottinghamshire South area, to be spent in Netherfield and Colwick, in Gedling, Trent Bridge ward, in Rushcliffe, and Eastwood South, in Broxtowe.

Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke MBE, said: “We’re very pleased to be working with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to keep our streets safer and reduce crime, something that is a Gedling Borough Council priority. 

“We have seen the success of Shopwatch schemes in areas such as Arnold, which were introduced a few years ago, and increases in patrols will hopefully make people feel safer too. 

“The extra wardens should also help reduce some of the recent antisocial incidents at Victoria Retail Park and stop car cruisers, who have been using Colwick Industrial Estate to gather at night. 

“I would like to thank the work being done by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner alongside our Neighbourhood Wardens on this important scheme and I am sure the retailers will also be very pleased with the extra security this announcement will bring as they continue to recover from the loss of business due to the pandemic.”

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