Published: December 28, 2013
Crime-fighting business group pulls out of Burnham-On-Sea

A night-time crime fighting initiative for Burnham-On-Sea pubs has pulled out of the town due to a lack of support, according to organisers.

Somerset Businesses Against Crime says it is "very disappointed" that pubs in the town have not supported the scheme, which includes a radio link facility to alert pubs when known trouble-makers are in the area.

Working in close co-operation with the police and CCTV operators, the service shared information in order to prevent and detect crime and lead in persistent offenders being formally excluded from pubs.

But Andy Sharman, scheme co-ordinator, told this week: "We have stepped away from providing our services to the Burnham district 'night time economy group' following issues with not receiving payment from a majority of member premises."

"It was no longer financially viable for us to continue to provide admin support and have the area as part of our exclusion scheme."

"Therefore, our services have been pulled with immediate effect and the exclusions for the area lifted."

"For the past two years, our not-for-profit group, which receives no funding from external sources, has carried the heavy burden of delivering an excellent service to these premises in the hope that those outstanding debts would be cleared but sadly that never came to be."

"We appreciate that it has been a tough trading environment for many businesses but other districts and business sectors have managed to contribute their subs towards the running of the scheme."

He added: "It is equally frustrating as the actions of these premises has put at risk our attempts to seek funding for a new improved radio link system for the area, and we will have to review whether it is financially sustainable to deliver the radio link and offender management solutions to the district as a whole in the New Year."

"Members will be consulted, as will our police and local authority partners, and we will make a decision in due course."

"It is sad that it has come to this but we simply can not provide a service to those who are happy to use it but are not willing to pay for it."

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