crewe town centre stabbings - pic by CreweNPU

A community scheme to tackle town centre crime in Crewe and Nantwich has scooped a top award.

‘Stamp crime out of town’ (Scoot), a business crime partnership operating across Crewe and Nantwich for 13 years, has been given a Safer Business Award ‘with distinction’.

It is the second-year running it has won the award following assessment by the Association of Business Crime Partnerships (ABCP).

The partnership, which consists of Cheshire East Council’s partnerships and communities team, Cheshire Police and local traders, uses a radio network to alert members about crime, suspicious people and anti-social behaviour.

Steph Cordon, Cheshire East Council’s head of communities, said: “This shows how crime can be tackled effectively when businesses team up with statutory agencies to tackle the very local issues that affect not only the business community but also users and indeed the passers-by of those businesses too.”

The scheme involves a close working relationship of members of the radio link, Cheshire East CCTV and Cheshire Police officers who carry Scoot radios in the town centres.

Last year, a stabbing incident (pictured, above) in Crewe town centre resulted in the swift arrest of the suspected attacker.

Organisers say the scheme has contributed to an eight per cent reduction in retail crime over the past 12 months.

Sgt Dave Levins, of Cheshire Police, said: “Retail crime is not victimless and has a profound effect on the economy.

“Scoot is one of the ways in which the police are involved in a multi-agency approach in tackling retail crime with a view to deterring and disrupting would-be thieves.

“Scoot enables information to be shared, offenders to be identified quickly and thus reduce instances of theft and other associated crime, such as purse-dipping.

“We have dedicated town centre officers and PCSOs who provide a highly-visible policing presence and I welcome retailers to speak to our officers, while they are out on patrol, to discuss security issues that are relevant to them.”

Scoot was recognised as operating on a par with partnerships in other areas, such as Chester, Trafford Centre and Manchester.

Scoot chairman Ralph Lewis said: “This award is down to the hard work and dedicated commitment of all members of the partnership.

“We will continue the work and have plans to develop the partnership further across Cheshire East in the near future.”

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