By Calvin at 09:39 GMT, 10 years ago
A crime prevention shop is opening in Stourport to encourage Wyre Forest residents to Love Thy Neighbour.
The one-stop community shop, in the former Animal SOS charity shop in High Street, runs from Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd February, from 10am to 4pm.
The multi-agency shop will provide crime prevention information advice from West Mercia Police as well as advice from other organisations within Safer Wyre Forest – part of the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership.
It will also give people the opportunity to share any community concerns, and to have a NHS “MOT.”
PC Steve Yapp of West Mercia Police said: “As the shop opens just after Valentine’s Day, we decided to have a theme of Love Thy Neighbour this year.
“There is less crime in close-knit communities and good neighbours, especially those who are at home in the day, such as retired people, are invaluable in terms of keeping an eye on homes and vehicles, listening out for alarms going off, and watching out for anything suspicious.
“Even if there is no formal Neighbourhood Watch scheme, vigilant neighbours who will ring the police to report that a stranger is in next door’s back garden or trying the handle of their car, can both prevent and help us detect offences.
“Last year a similar shop in Kidderminster, which had the theme Love Your Home, was a big success with lots of people dropping into to pick up leaflets and information, and we hope the Stourport shop will prove equally popular.”
Justin Bryant, Chair of the Safer Wyre Forest Operational Group said: "The One-Stop Community Shop is a great opportunity for local residents and visitors to learn more about the things that they can do to help keep their homes and possessions safe.
“Crime prevention doesn't have to be complicated and expensive and we hope that people will drop in to take advantage of all the free advice on offer."
Back in my ‘crime prevention officer days’ I helped out with several of these initiatives, where we took over an empty shop for a couple of weeks (for free) and filled it with leaflets, giveaway goodies and the latest in crime prevention kit. We also used the opportunity to give training talks to Neighbourhood Watch volunteers about an array of subjects, including self-defence and citizen’s arrest. We even got the local security companies in to demonstrate their wares and always got them to denote a free lock or half price alarm - or two!
So good luck to West Mercia Police and North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership for what will be a very worthwhile initiative.
And if you live nearby do please pay them a visit and let all your friends and neighbours know – you know it makes sense!