Alnwick traders turn to Whats App in fight against crime
Alnwick traders have created a Whats App group to help combat crime in the town.
The group, called Alnwick Be Aware, was set up by local businessman Andrew Hodgson, managing director of Sportsworld.
Members were able to spread the word on Wednesday about a suspected shoplifting incident at Penroses electrical shop on Bondgate Within.
Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade, said: “It’s proved itself invaluable. This incident was immediately flagged up to everyone in the Whats App group so we can mindful that these people are about, what they look like and tell them that they’re not coming in.
“It’s a fabulous initiative and Inspector Sharon Wilmore Greaves (neighbourhood police inspector) has flagged it up as one of the reasons why reported shoplifting has dropped.
“Quite a lot of the businesses have CCTV now and between us I think we can track quite a lot of Alnwick.
“It’s taken a bit of legwork off the police and that’s not decrying them. We all know the constraints they work to. As shopkeepers and owners we know there is a national government instruction not to prosecute because there just isn’t the manpower to put it through so if we can do half the job for them it means we will get some good results.”
“It’s simple mechanism,” added Mr Hodgson. “We’ve got to look after ourselves.”
Any businesses wanting to be on it should contact Lisa or Andrew or email firstname.lastname@example.org