Police have launched a Shop Watch scheme in Leyland for small business owners to protect themselves against crime.
The project, which offers a safety network for business owners, alerting them to suspicious activities and crime in their local area through emails or texts, has been welcomed in the town.
Chair of the Leyland Town Team, Isobel Pickering, who also runs Paces and Laces children’s footwear shop in Towngate, said: “The police gave a briefing about the Shop Watch idea at our last Town Team meeting, and a lot of people have signed up for it.
“It’s all about working together, which can’t be a bad thing.
“We don’t really have many problems with crime in shops in Leyland, as far as I know, but it’s always good to know you’ve got that support if you need it.
“Small businesses tend to only have one or two people working in the shop at a time, and at Paces and Laces we have an alarm which links to the police, so it’s similar to that, just having that reassurance.”
Those signed up to the Shop Watch initiative will also receive security checks and reviews, get support in devising a crime prevention policy, and get Shop Watch signs for their windows to make people aware they are part of the network.
Isobel added: “The PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers) regularly pop in to the shop, and with the stickers for the windows as well, I think that type of thing instils a lot of confidence in the shop workers.
“It also acts as a deterrent to potential thieves.”
The scheme is similar to another initiative launched in Leyland recently, as previously reported in the Guardian.
PubWatch brings the town’s landlords and landladies together to meet and discuss issues, as well as create a communication network so they can alert one another to potential trouble.
The first meeting is set to take place next week.