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Retail Partnership

by msecadm4921

A new partnership has been set up to combat business crime in the west of Somerset.

Taunton Retailers Against Crime have merged with the Bridgwater and Burnham Security Group to form a new business crime reduction partnership, Somerset West Businesses Against Crime. A not-for-profit organisation, SWBAC will work with Avon and Somerset Police and local authority CCTV system to look after businesses from the retail and leisure sectors: including shops, pubs, bars and restaurants. A package for farming and industrial sectors is also planned.

The scheme works by linking businesses to the police and other retailers and venues through SWBAC radios. Offender information, including names and photographs, will be shared across the towns, to prevent and detect crime. Persistent offenders could even be excluded from all participating businesses in the district.

Andy Sharman, SWBAC Co-ordinator, said: “Our members will be equipped with all the latest information they need to stop crime affecting their businesses. These crimes are massively detrimental not just to our members but also our local communities. By using the latest technology and through the strong collaboration between member businesses and our key partners, we anticipate our members, and therefore our communities, will become more resilient to the threats they currently face.”

SWBAC officially began work in May 2011 and will operate across the local authority areas of Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane and West Somerset, except for where a partnership already runs. Although initially looking after members in Berrow, Brean, Bridgwater, Burnham-on-sea, Highbridge, and Taunton any business within the operating area can apply for membership.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Kelvey from Avon and Somerset Police said: “We are pleased to be working with SWBAC. It will be another method to aid police, local communities and partner agencies in working together, sharing intelligence, tackling crime and bringing offenders to justice.”

Barry Donbavand, CCTV Manager added: “There is one central CCTV control room based at Sedgemoor District Council, Bridgwater, which monitors most of the CCTV schemes in the Somerset West district area. CCTV continues to be a very effective tool in the fight against crime. By merging these partnerships into one will help us to effectively deliver consistent advice to members and by working with SWBAC and the police, we will reduce crime.”

A spokesman for Taunton Deane Borough Council said: “We have had great pleasure in working with Taunton Retailers Against Crime and this has been recognised in the project gaining regional and national recognition. This expansion can only be good news for those involved.”

To find out more on SWBAC, call Andy Sharman on 01823 272277; or visit –

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