SHOP owners in Denbigh are rallying together to deal with the recent surge in anti-social behaviour in the town.

The Shop Watch initiative, which will work similarly to a Pub Watch scheme and has the backing of North Wales Police, will allow businesses to ban individuals that are seen to be a danger to the town’s safety

Wendy Evans, Co-op worker and chair of the Shop Watch initiative, said: “The town has been traumatised by recent events, staff are frightened to be at work. Nobody knows when it will happen to them.

“We’re looking to turn negative into positive by starting the group and bringing businesses together.”

More than 35 businesses are already part of the scheme, including Holland and Barrett, Royles Pharmacy and Denbigh Chocolate Shop, with more in the process of joining.

Ms Evans, who is also chair of the Pub Watch that also tackles anti-social behaviour, said: “The Pub Watch scheme has been very well supported by pubs in the area and has been very successful in reducing anti-social behaviour.

“Shop Watch will work in a very similar manner and we will have posters and stickers, which will be provided free of charge by Mike Neuman Printers, to inform the public that the scheme is in place.

Individuals that are banned will be allowed entry to a designated shop in the town to buy food.

Ms Evans said: “I think the police are doing their bet and the whole town feels supported, but there needs to be action from the townspeople to help the situation.

“We are sending a message that we are no longer tolerating this behaviour in the town. Now is the right time to take action.”

The Shop Watch scheme will be carried in conjunction with Denbigh Business Group while North Wales Police Inspector Andy Kirkham and PSCOs Kelly Elliot and Lucy Green will be able to offer advise to the group.

Insp Kirkham said: “I have been involved in similar schemes in Rhyl and Colwyn Bay which were a success, and I intend to bring my experience from those schemes to Denbigh.

“The police will offer their support to the scheme by assisting with setting up the infrastructure and giving advice based on similar schemes that have worked elsewhere.”

Increased CCTV surveillance and radio communication between shops and North Wales Police has been put forward as a key method for the scheme to be a success

Insp Kirkham said: “We will also support any bans the scheme and back these up with a formal letter to the offender.

“We will also look at finding funding for certain aspects of the scheme, such as setting up radio communication.

“We can’t go out and give forms to offenders before they commit an offence but this will stop repeat offenders and deter people from committing offences as they will not want to be banned from every shop in the town.”

The group’s meetings taking place on the first Wednesday of every month, with the next meeting on Wednesday, June 6.

To sign up to the scheme or to find out more information contact Wendy Evans or Katy McFaul on 01745 813970 or visit the Co-op at 26 High St, Denbigh LL16 3RY.