A NEW scheme linking up Stourport shop staff and police to help curb thefts and fraud is launching next week.

The scheme, called ShopCop will see local shop owners and staff communicating with the Stourport police teams using a messaging service.

This will allow store workers to pass along information and intelligence relating to shoplifters and those committing fraud in shops.

PSCO Andy Stevens, who is the driving force behind the scheme, said: “SNT officers will visit retailers on the scheme every week to offer assurance and discuss any new offences.

“Shoplifting may seem a low priority to some people, however, much like those other offences, it is intrinsically linked to more serious and dangerous crime such as selling and buying drugs, burglary and assault.

“The cost to retailers is also increased and the scheme will help provide a communication link directly to those officers who know the area best and who will then know who to look out for and challenge.

“The community in Stourport deserve to live and work safely and this scheme will help us be made aware quickly of crimes when they’re committed and aid us in identifying those responsible so that action can be taken.”

The scheme will officially launch at the Stourport Civic Centre on Monday June 7.