Wardens help tackle crime in Eastbourne shops

Pilot project: The business wardens
Pilot project: The business wardens

Sussex Police is working with businesses to crack down on crimes in shops.

New business wardens are being launched as a pilot in Eastbourne and Littlehampton to help reduce crime affecting shops and businesses in the towns. It is hoped business wardens will also be extended to Bognor Regis and Arundel during the pilot period.

The project, supported by Sussex Police, Eastbourne Business Crime Reduction Partnership, Littlehampton businesses and the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, is being funded by the Home Office and The Southern Cooperative until 2017. The project is part of a collaborative bid, worth £249,000 over two years, with the joint aim being to improve business crime reporting and the targeting of criminals.

The wardens will be able to efficiently report crimes directly to Sussex Police, gather evidence, and provide crime prevention advice. The wardens will have access to the Facewatch application which has been specifically designed to help businesses report crimes and track their progress with the Police via online feedback.

Chris Neilson, business crime lead for Sussex Police, said, “This project is about forging a stronger partnership between businesses and the police to tackle crime. It will provide a dedicated service and reduce time for businesses as they will be able to report a crime directly to wardens, who will take details and any evidence like CCTV and submit this directly to the force.

“There will be three wardens in Littlehampton and two in Eastbourne. We hope it will give assurance to the businesses who sign up to the scheme that these wardens can deal with this type of crime efficiently and take all the details quickly. This is vitally important to us to build up a picture of the crime being committed in those areas. The wardens will also act as a deterrent for anyone thinking about stealing from these businesses.”

The pilot is due to run until 2017 and the aim is to extend the scheme into other areas across Sussex if proved successful.

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