This article was published on July 14, 2013 and information contained within may now be out of date.
Thieves, toe rags and ne’er do wells have been warned to ‘keep out of Spilsby’ after businesses in the town teamed up for a new crime cutting initiative.
Former mayor Coun Michael Lenton has spearheaded an ‘early warning shop system’ which allows businesses to alert one another about potential troublemakers in the town.
We’re saying to criminals, we don’t want you here, keep out of Spilsby, because if you come to commit crime you will be arrested and suffer the same fate as the few others who have come before to do that.
Councillor Michael Lenton
The scheme was set up following a recent ‘distraction burglary’ at one of the shops, which Coun Lenton was determined to clamp down upon.
“I was quite annoyed that this had happened, because the businesses owners in town are lovely people and they did not deserve for this to happen,” he said.
“It’s quite a new concept for Spilsby and I think it gave the businesses’ faith in human nature a slight knock, so I thought, I’m not going to let this happen.”
Participants in the scheme, which is free to join, are expected to report any suspected thief or troublemaker in the town to the next business on the list, quoting a code-word.
That businesses is then required to do the same with their next point of contact until every member has been alerted.
There are currently 45 shop participating in the scheme, which represents the vast majority of Spilsby’s businesses and has demonstrated to Coun Lenton how community spirited the town’s retail community is.
Each of the partnership businesses will display a sign demonstrating its membership, worded so as not to frighten ordinary law-abiding customers, while still making the warning to thieves abundantly clear.
“We’re saying to criminals, we don’t want you here, keep out of Spilsby, because if you come to commit crime you will be arrested and suffer the same fate as the few others who have come before to do that,” said Coun Lenton.
He hopes the system will not only help the businesses to protect themselves from crime better, but also make them more aware of the problems.