A Gwent Police CSO has teamed up with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Trading Standards team to introduce a shop watch scheme in Ebbw Vale town centre.
The crime prevention initiative aims to deter theft, reduce crime and increase awareness around the steps traders can take to protect their businesses.
CSO Julieanne Wilkinson visited stores throughout November to introduce the scheme.
Those who sign up are registered to a social messaging platform and, on signing in each morning, can share updates around crime prevention, sightings of those suspected of shoplifting and any thefts that have happened recently.
Members can then report crimes to Gwent Police online, over social media or by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.
CSO Julieanne Wilkinson said: “We’ve had some really positive feedback from traders, who are pleased with the communication network in place to help reduce crime.
“As well as deterring theft and making shoppers feel safe on the high street, I believe the scheme’s bringing a real sense of community spirit between the traders.”
Inspector Shane Underwood said: “We’re committed to protecting our communities from crime.
“As the festive season approaches, our officers continue to work with people to reassure them and share crime prevention advice.
“Our problem solving hub, a team dedicated to looking at strategies that tackle long-term crime trends across Gwent, are working with traders across the county to implement measures that protect their businesses and identify shoplifters.
“Our response to calls of crime is very important, of course, but we continue to look at preventative measures we can take to tackle activities impacting communities.”