Co-ordinator for Shopsafe scheme appointed
The role of Dave Milsom, a retired Newbury police inspector, will be to support existing members, of which there are 64, and recruit new ones.
Mr Milsom, a 54-year-old father of two, left the Thames Valley Police force at the end of January after a 30-year career.
He said: “I’m delighted to be working on the Shopsafe scheme. I am very familiar with the benefits of it – it played a part in my previous role and is extremely valuable.
“At the moment I’m still finding my feet, going round and introducing myself. Shopsafe is a good scheme, with a radio system linking police and retailers directly to the Windsor CCTV control centre so that, if people come into town to steal all members are alerted.
“I’m hoping we can eventually expand the scheme to areas like Thatcham and Hungerford.”
He said that he also wanted to help out with the administration of the scheme and to enhance communication between members. The previous co-ordinator, Sharon Briggs, was made redundant in 2011.
The post, which was previously funded by West Berkshire Council and Thames Valley Police, is now completely self -funded.
The council had been paying £5,000 towards the scheme’s co-ordinator post, but said that pressures on the budget had forced it to withdraw funding.
Since 2005, the Shopsafe scheme has operated as a partnership between the police, West Berkshire Council and the businesses in town that have signed up to it.
It uses a system of two-way radios to allow communication between shops and the police, enabling all parties to keep track of potential problems in the town and build up profiles of repeat offenders who might then be served with exclusion orders.
West Berkshire’s executive councillor for community safety, Graham Jones (Con, Lambourn) said: “Shopkeep-ers pay a subscription to Shopsafe where they are provided a radio to keep in contact with other retailers should issues arise such as shoplifting or antisocial behaviour around town.
“Now, as part of that subscription, they also have access to Facewatch which is a ‘closed’ website for those same retailers.
“Each is able to post photos and other information of individuals on there for ready-identification of potential offenders, which adds an important visual element to the Shopsafe verbal link.”
Mr Milsom can be contacted via email at