Signs let shoplifters know their deeds are common knowledge

STICKERS have begun appearing in shop windows and on market stalls in Wells to warn shoplifters that the eyes of the city are on them.

Images and video footage of suspects caught on shop cameras are being shared instantly on a WhatsApp group for the business community which more than 100 different retail outlets have joined.

“Shoplifters beware. We’ll all know you!” say the stickers, that have been subsidised by Wells Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber Chair Louis Agabani said: “The shoplifters need to know that when their image is caught on CCTV, the image is shared with all the other shops in Wells.”

He said that the next stage of the anti-crime campaign is to find a way of working more closely with the police so that they can take more effective action against shoplifters. Discussions are continuing about the possibility of posting the images on social media.

In a further warning to shoplifters, Louis said that the CCTV cameras in Wells are all working and are being monitored by police, which also helps in tackling anti-social behaviour and any other crime.

Tom Muir of Brothers Muir Pet Supplies represents Wells market traders on the WhatsApp group.

He said that theft from the market stalls is quite common, and those stealing seem to be more brazen.

“We get a surprising number of people stealing eggs and other staples, and premium products such as antlers, that dogs chew on,” he said.

“Several market traders say they have issues.”

When Wells Voice reported on the shoplifting problem last month, PC Dan Williams said: “Wells Neighbourhood Police Team are working hard with local retailers to strengthen our relationship, increase the reporting of thefts and discuss ways to prevent shoplifting. “We are increasing our efforts targeting our most prolific offenders causing harm to the area.”