Shops, pubs and clubs in Whalley join forces to tackle shoplifting and anti-social behaviour

Shops, pubs and clubs in Whalley are joining forces to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the village.

In conjunction with the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership, they have launched a Business Watch scheme, which will see members receive radio handsets to share real-time information on troublemakers and shoplifters.

For a small monthly fee, they will receive the handset, which is worth hundreds of pounds, and have access to a network with other members of the scheme, plus a panic button linked directly to the Ribble Valley CCTV hub and Clitheroe Police Station.

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The scheme seeks to emulate the successful Clitheroe Business Watch, which has over 25 members and has helped to tackle crime in the town.

Pictured at the launch of Whalley Business Watch are Ribble Valley Borough Council partnership officer Dilys Day and De Lacy Arms licensee Ashley Baron, with (back from the left) Rendezvous licensee Jonathan Crompton, police community support officer Sian Coffey, Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership chairman Robert Thompson, Rendezvous licensee Rebecca Crompton and De Lacy Arms manager Anita Lorenzo.

Business Watch is based on the nationally successful Pub Watch, which has been creating a safer drinking environment and night-time economy across the UK for several years.

The Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership has hosted several meetings in Whalley in recent months between licensees, council officers and the police, after a spate of anti-social behaviour in the village.

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Robert Thompson, the partnership’s chairman, said: “There have been some high-profile incidents in Whalley recently and this scheme is one way of making the village safer for everyone.

“Shopkeepers, workers and licensees should be able to go about their business without the fear of theft, crime and disorder.

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“Membership of the scheme is open to anyone and we are currently finalising plans for siting the transmitter, with a view to being up and running within a couple of weeks.”

Whalley licensee Jonathan Crompton said: “This scheme will enable businesses to work together to tackle troublemakers, by allowing the prompt reporting of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity, promoting a sense of security for customers and staff, and improving police and licensee liaison by providing effective communications through two-way radio.

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“This initiative will reassure people that they are able to work in and visit Whalley safely, and potential troublemakers should be aware that they are likely to be shown the door promptly if they cause any bother.”

To join Whalley Business Watch, phone Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111.