Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Friday, 3 July 2009 14:56 UK

Shops ban for 83 'undesirables'

Pontypridd town centre
Twenty-five shops in Pontypridd town centre are taking part

A crackdown on shop crime has led to 83 people being banned from stores in a town centre and retail park.

They had been involved in offences such as theft from shops, cheque and credit card fraud, and assaults on staff, said Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) council.

Those banned have been excluded from certain shops in Pontypridd town centre and Talbot Green Retail Park.

The RCT business crime reduction scheme invites shops to work with partners such as police and the council.

Insp Richard Erskine, head of community safety across RCT for South Wales Police, said: "Our town centres are the heart of our communities and the success of this partnership shows that we are dedicated to keeping them safe for everyone who visits them.

"Crime or anti-social behaviour need not, and will not, be tolerated.

"Staff and shop owners have the right to work in a safe environment too and by working with them we can continue to show the minority of undesirables that they are not welcome."

Radio system

Members have a radio link which is monitored by CCTV staff and police so information can be shared and incidents dealt with.

There are also regular meetings and members are updated about crime trends and offenders. They also have access to police photographs of town centre offenders.

Councillor John David, cabinet member for communities and joint chair of the community safety partnership, said: "Store colleagues are enthusiastically using the intelligence, photos and radio system to catch anyone stupid enough to attempt to shoplift in RCT."

Twenty-five shops in Pontypridd and 18 in Talbot Green Retail Park are involved in the scheme.



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