SHOPLIFTERS face a crackdown in a Chester suburb as police work with retailers through a new scheme.

Over the last three weeks, 13 people have been dealt with by police for theft offences in Hoole, thanks to the ShopWatch initiative.

As part of ShopWatch, businesses in the area have access to radios to warn each other and the police of crimes.

Regular meetings are also held between police and ShopWatch members to give updates on shoplifting offences and policing in the area.

PCSO Keith Bartlett said: “ShopWatch is not designed to replace a call to the police if staff see someone actually committing a crime, but it gives shopkeepers a warning that trouble could be on the way.

“Hoole is becoming a no-go area for thieves thanks to the work business owners and the local police are doing as part of this scheme.

“We want shoplifters and thieves to know we won’t tolerate this behaviour in the area.

In the past, some community leaders have raised concerns that areas like Hoole and Garden Lane, have suffered from the displacement of city centre crime. That’s because some crooks now avoid the city centre due to its extensive CCTV network and seek softer targets in the suburbs.

For details about ShopWatch, call Chester Outer Neighbourhood Policing Team on 0845 458 6375 or email