Radio link for crime-hit shops

PUBLISHED: 20:40 09 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:17 15 June 2010

CRIME is up in Axminster, according to findings presented at the monthly town council meeting. Shopkeepers are being encouraged to join a radio link scheme in a bid to beat crooks who have been preying on retail outlets.

CRIME is up in Axminster, according to findings presented at the monthly town council meeting.Shopkeepers are being encouraged to join a radio link scheme in a bid to beat crooks who have been preying on retail outlets.Neighbourhood Beat Manager for Axminster, PC Darren Herridge reported crime figures had increased to 34 from 26, and that incidents of domestic violence were particularly high.He attributed the rise to an increase in people reporting incidents and added that a couple of offenders in town were enough to notably increase the figures. He also again related crime to drug use, especially in the case of thefts.He said: "It's possibly due to an increase in reporting, rather than more and more people getting violent in the town."Public order offences were up to four from none the previous month, and police said they were also concerned about thefts of handbags. "A couple of handbags have been stolen from people in one shop," said PC Herridge. "We are concerned this will happen in other shops. We would advise people not to leave their pin numbers in their bags. I would reiterate - not to leave the pin number anywhere near the cards."He cited a recent case where hundreds of pounds were stolen within hours because the pin had been left with the bank card.He added people were sometimes too relaxed, and it was "the price of living in such a nice place".PCSO Andy Trotter also commented on the drug problem.He said: "They don't sell the goods for their true value - they take items just to get their next fix."To help tackle the problem, use of radios in shops is being encouraged. The Axcom scheme enables shopkeepers to radio through to the police - and each other - immediately in the event of theft or any other criminal activity.PCSO Trotter said: "People can give a running commentary of events through the town, so the more the merrier. The radio costs £20 but you only have to lose a couple of items and it perhaps becomes an issue."The need for children to wear helmets while cycling was also highlighted during the meeting. PC Herridge referred to an incident where a child was knocked down in Lea Combe last week and was not wearing a helmet."It's a matter of time before someone gets badly hurt," he said. "And we have seen people cycling the wrong way up South Street."He said he and PCSO Andy Trotter would be trying to educate people about cycle safety before starting to enforce the law.Criminal damage and burglary were down on last year, from 32 incidents to 22.


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