A new online scheme has been set up to help retailers across Aberdeenshire in the battle against shoplifting.
Shopwatch has been operating in Fraserburgh for the past ten years but has now joined an online service and is encouraging further retail members to take part.
Retailers, including shops and bars, can apply to join the web-based portal to access information - including news, alerts, bulletins, bans and CCTV images - to help tackle shoplifting at their premises.
Each retailer seeking to join the Shopwatch website is asked to pay a fee of £20 to access the service.
Commenting, scheme co-ordinator and Maitland’s proprietor John Maitland said: “The Shopwatch Committee meet on the last Thursday of every month and it has been well attended by a number of retailers who are concerned about the rise of shoplifting in Fraserburgh.
“Several stores have been hit consistently by the same people.
“The Shopwatch Committee have developed an online system which is internet and SMS based, which is a communication and information portal for all local retailers to tap into at minimal cost.
“With the demise of the community warden in Fraserburgh, the Shopwatch Committee felt we needed help to tackle theft anti-social behaviour in Fraserburgh.”
Constable Mike Taylor from Fraserburgh Police Station commented: “Personally, I think it’s a very good idea.
“It shows a lot of initiative from our shopkeepers in coming up with a method of trying to combat the shoplifting problem in our area.”
Aaron Ritchie, deputy manager at Asda Fraserburgh, added: “I think it’ll be a good tool for networking among shops.
“I don’t think you’ll ever eliminate shoplifting completely but I think this will help.”
To find out more about joining Shopwatch, visit www.shopwatchonline.co.uk or call John Maitland on 01346 513224.