More than 50 shopkeepers and businesses in Pelsall have joined forces with Walsall Police to create a radio scheme aimed at reducing shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.
Pelsall Village Radio Scheme has been set up by Pelsall/Rushall/Shelfield and High-Heath Neighbourhood Watch Association with support from Walsall Police and Brownhills, Pelsall, Rushall & Shelfield Area Partnership.
Every business joining the scheme will be supplied with a walkie talkie to enable them to communicate with other members of the scheme and pass on information about shoplifters and other issues.
Funding has been provided by Brownhills, Pelsall, Rushall & Shelfield Area Partnership and the West Midlands Police Community Initiative Fund. The scheme is also being support by Safer Walsall Partnership’s ASB Unit.
Businesses who have joined the scheme have also contributed towards the cost of the walkie talkies.
Sgt Bob Harris, from Walsall Police, helped set up the scheme and said: “I have been working with the Neighbourhood Watch Association to secure funding and canvassing local businesses/retailers which will result in a back to back radio system in Pelsall.
“This will allow individual shopkeepers/business premises to communicate with one another regarding people acting suspiciously, warning that known offenders are in the area, passing on names or descriptions or just facilitating communication so that one-person businesses do not feel isolated.
“This I believe will act as a deterrent to potential offenders thereby improving the feeling of mutual community safety and, hopefully, lead to an increase in the footfall in Pelsall which will benefit both businesses and the community,” he added.
Councillor Zahid Ali, portfolio holder for public protection with Walsall Council’s Coalition, said: “This sends a strong message to any criminals in the area that the people of Pelsall stand united in the fight against crime and it will not be tolerated.”