Local News

Andover Shopwatch to prove crime doesn’t pay

A ‘Shopwatch’ system is being launched in Andover, aimed at supporting retailers and helping to reduce crime.

Andover BID recently introduced an ‘Alert App’ to the licensed trade, initially operating with pubs and the licensed trade.  This is now being extended to retailers in the town through the establishment of Shopwatch an information sharing scheme using a daytime version of the Pubwatch scheme.

Local businesses have been invited to a Shopwatch launch presentation via Zoom on Monday November 2nd.  Businesses interested in the new facility should contact BID manager Steve Godwin.

The launch is aimed at the build up to Christmas. The benefits of the App are to monitor shoplifters, ensuring that every store in the area is aware of which criminals are on the prowl, what they look like and where they are.

The implementation of Shopwatch follows the recent introduction of the Andover Rangers, now a familiar sight in the town centre.

Andover Town Centre Rangers

Shopwatch will work closely with the Andover Rangers, security staff and the police if necessary to know exactly what is happening and ensure criminals are tackled effectively with stolen goods still in their possession and with less risk of them running away or assaulting store staff.

Steve Godwin says, “Andover is generally a peaceful town and a safe place to shop and do business.

“We have become aware that a minority of people visiting the town use it as an opportunity to be badly behaved, to be anti-social and shop-lift from local businesses and this has got to stop.

“The introduction of the ALERT App will work alongside Pubwatch for the licensed trade with Shopwatch for retailers demonstrating to offenders that their behaviour in this town is unacceptable and will result in them being barred from premises”

Chairman of Andover Pubwatch Mark Leech of the White Hart Hotel adds, “We are delighted to have been using the BID Alert App. This is a nice town where a few people unfortunately spoil it for the majority. Pubs and venues come together monthly through Pubwatch to ensure that they are united in their approach to offending on licensed premises.

“We have a total ban on people who repeatedly cause us problems and we meet monthly to establish who we don’t want in our venues”. This initiative is helping pubs so we are delighted to see it being extended to retailers in the town”

The Alert App is working alongside the BID Ranger service who carry a radio which links them to pubs, and shops and businesses enabling them to quickly attend when issues are occurring in the town.

Businesses wishing to attend the Zoom launch on Monday 2nd November must contact BID Manager Steve Godwin here.