THEFTS in Chelmsley Wood Town Centre have fallen by more than a third since a new police team was introduced to patrol the precinct.
The team – which consists of a PC and PCSO – was introduced last November in a bid to banish thieves ahead of the Christmas rush.
It proved so successful that the dedicated patrols continued into the New Year – and latest figures show the number of thefts is down by 35 per cent compared to a year ago.
Solihull Police Inspector Keith Portman, said: “The officers have provided a visible, reassuring presence…they are committed to keeping shoppers and their purchases safe.
“Importantly they’ve also strived to build relationships with retailers and encourage them to play their part in tackling crime.”
Local police have formed a Town Centre Association alongside representatives from retailers, security firms and centre management.
It’s meant police have been able to share information on known offenders amongst stores, raise awareness of tactics used by shoplifters, and provide shop staff advice on wider crime prevention issues.
Insp Portman, added: “The Association meets regularly to discuss security issues and generate ideas on how to help exclude people that are there only for criminal purposes.
“Everyone is committed to keeping thieves out and making Chelmsley Wood Town Centre and even safer place to shop.”
One priority is to expand the already extensive radio network between stores so all staff can stay in contact and instantly share information on suspect individuals.
A fundraising summer fun day is planned for August 19 with proceeds going to buy equipment to support the scheme.
It will involve a fashion show in conjunction with the centre’s clothing retailers, whilst prizes for raffles and competitions are being donated by other stores.
Insp Portman, added: “Smaller, independent shops may not be able to afford the radio equipment so the event will help contribute towards the costs.”