The Facewatch internet crime reporting tool has now been rolled out to the convenience store sector.

The scheme enables retailers to file online witness statements of a crime, including perpetrator descriptions and CCTV footage, within minutes to the police. It can also be used as a means for retailers to communicate with each other about local crime.

AF Blakemore has signed up its Tates Spar stores. Tates loss prevention manager Mark Stevenson said he was impressed by the scheme: "It's exactly what store owners need to report crimes to the police more quickly."

Facewatch chairman Simon Gordon said: "Retailers can input all of the information without having to wait for the police to arrive. It can also provide crime statistics for their store and help to analyse any weak spots."

He added that Facewatch could help retailers reduce crimes such as shoplifting. "This is often seen as low-level, victimless crime, one that's not worth reporting to the police, but retailers can use Facewatch to input the suspect's details quickly and get on with running their businesses," he said.

The City of London and the Met Police currently use Facewatch, with forces in other major UK cities set to follow suit. Gordon and his team hope that more local police forces will support the scheme.

"It's ready for all police forces to use; they just have to recognise the value of it," Gordon said.
Exclusive reader offer
To sign up for Facewatch and obtain a 25% discount for your store, call 0845 437 9629, or log onto www.facewatch.co.uk and quote Convenience Store. A group of 10 or more retailers in the same area joining together will obtain a further 10% discount if they quote Convenience Store when signing up. Offer ends July 31.

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