Published: May 29, 2011
New business crime reduction group formed in Burnham-On-Sea

A new group has been formed to help reduce crime across West Somerset, including Burnham-On-Sea.

Taunton Retailers Against Crime has merged with the Bridgwater and Burnham Security Group to form a new business crime reduction partnership called Somerset West Businesses Against Crime (SWBAC).

The not-for-profit organisation will work in partnership with Avon and Somerset Police and CCTV operators to look after businesses from the retail and leisure industries including shops, pubs, bars and restaurants.

The scheme works by linking businesses to both the police and other retailers and venues through SWBAC radios.

Offender information, including names and photographs, will be shared across the towns in order to prevent and detect crime. Persistent offenders could even be excluded from all participating businesses in the district.

Although initially looking after members in Berrow, Brean, Bridgwater, Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge and Taunton, any business within the operating area can apply for membership of SWBAC.

Andy Sharman, SWBAC Co-ordinator, told "Our members will be equipped with all the latest information they need to stop crime affecting their businesses. These crimes are massively detrimental not just to our members but also our local communities. By using the latest technology and through the strong collaboration between member businesses and our key partners, we anticipate our members, and therefore our communities, will become more resilient to the threats they currently face."

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Kelvey from Avon and Somerset Police (pictured right) added: "We are pleased to be working with SWBAC. It will be another method to aid police, local communities and partner agencies in working together, sharing intelligence, tackling crime and bringing offenders to justice."

And Barry Donbavand, CCTV Manager for Sedgemoor, said: "There is one central CCTV control room based at Sedgemoor District Council in Bridgwater which monitors most of the CCTV schemes in the Somerset West district area. CCTV continues to be a very effective tool in the fight against crime."

"By merging these partnerships into one will help us to effectively deliver consistent advice to members and by working with SWBAC and the police, we will reduce crime."


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