Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities team, in partnership with the local Police and stores in Epping have joined together to provide a Town Link / Shop Watch Service.
A total of ten shops along Epping High Street will be provided with a hand-held two-way radio to communicate with and alert each other to incidences of crime such as shoplifting.
The radios enable shopkeepers to warn others of any suspicious activity or people quickly and easily. The Council has funded the initial ten radios for the first year at a cost of £3,000, after which the shops will pay for the service. The local Police and Safer Communities Team at the Council will also have radios so that they can react to any incident very quickly and provide assistance if necessary.
Pictured above are members of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership. On the top row from left to right are Ryan Scott (Manager of Scott Sports), Colin Freeman (Essex Watch Co-ordinator), Paul Southgate (Epping Forest District Council ASB Investigator), Jonathan Baldwin (Essex Police Chief Inspector) and Craig Carrington (Essex Police Inspector). On the bottom row from left to right are Councillor Syd Stavrou (Epping Forest District Council), Norma Harrison (PCSO – Police Community Support Officer, Caroline Wiggins (Epping Forest District Council Safer Communities Manager) and Gary Harrington (NSO – Neighbourhood Specialist Officer).
Councillor Syd Stavrou Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder said: The introduction of the Epping Town Link will allow shop workers to communicate more frequently about problems they are currently experiencing and hopefully prevent would-be shoplifters from succeeding. This will provide a safer and better environment for local shoppers.
Chief Inspector Jonathan Baldwin Epping Forest District Commander said: This is an excellent Partnership initiative which provides support to local town businesses. The use of the radios will assist my Officers in preventing and detecting crime directed at the retail trade.”