Trafford police officers have launched an initiative to help combat personal robberies in the Hale area.

The Business Watch scheme has been put together in conjunction with Trafford Council, to provide local hospitality businesses crime prevention information and a dedicated phone line to report suspicious activity, as well as to reassure the local community that tactics are in place to tackle the offenders of this recent spate in personal robberies.

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The creation of the scheme follows a series of personal robbery incidents where victims have been selected by ‘spotters’, who then feedback to a group of offenders waiting in a vehicle who target the victim when they leave the establishment.

Officers have been into local businesses such as restaurants and cafés, providing staff with crime prevention advice and educating them on how to look out for suspicious activity that could indicate someone is a ‘spotter’. The Business Watch scheme has made reporting this suspicious activity easier, via the dedicated phone line which is linked to a team monitoring CCTV and who can quickly respond to developing incidents.

Superintendent Caroline Hemingway, of GMP’s Trafford district, said: “We want members of the public to feel safe when out and about in the Hale area, and for businesses to feel confident that police will respond to their concerns.

“Although Hale remains a relatively safe area, these incidents can have a huge negative impact on victims, and knock their confidence to go about their daily lives, which is why we are working relentlessly with our partners, the local Council, and local businesses, to ensure that offenders are detected early and caught.

“I hope that this scheme also makes offenders think twice before committing crime – your tactics will not go unnoticed and you will be caught.

“If you are a member of the public and you see something suspicious or want to report a crime, you can do so via our website or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.”

Cllr Graham Whitham, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Partnerships, said: “Trafford Council is committed to ensuring the safety of all residents as they go about their daily lives.

“We are working closely with our partners at Greater Manchester Police and the local businesses community to make sure the Business Watch scheme is a success. Being a victim of robbery is an awful experience and we will be doing everything we can to support GMP as they work to catch criminals and take them off the streets as soon as possible.

“This is all about building safe and resilient communities for all the residents in this area and we will not stop until we have achieved our aims. Thank you to everyone involved in this scheme.”