Ross Business Association (RBA) is imploring businesses in the town to report all cases of shoplifting, no matter how trivial.

Sue Williams, secretary for the RBA told the Gazette that businesses up and down the high street have suffered substantial levels of shoplifting and are coming together to stop it.

Shoplifting in the town is hitting high street businesses hard: Boots has had their No7 range cleared out a number of times, resulting in them having to reduce the amount of stock on show, and last month the Gazette reported on £10,000 worth of perfume which was stolen from Superdrug in a burglary.

In order to combat the growing levels of shoplifting and to maintain solidarity amongst Ross businesses, a WhatsApp group of over 85 local businesses has been established by the RBA. This group work in partnership with the community police to keep business and—more importantly—staff safe from crime.

Businesses can get added to the group by getting in touch with Ross Business Association or by contacting the community police.

Sue Williams is urging businesses which encounter shoplifting in their stores to report the incidents to police, no matter how trivial. The more cases that are reported, the more information the police have to work with when it comes down to preventing this type of crime happening in the future.

Whilst several businesses have been hit by the rising number of cases, the most common incidents include thefts of alcohol and clothing.

One high street told the Gazette how police have been circulating information about repeat offenders in the area so businesses can remain vigilant in protecting themselves.

They added that this helps newer or smaller shops that haven’t confronting shoplifters as much to know who to look out for, as well as offering support and guidance for when it does happen.

For around three weeks the police have deployed undercover officers to help keep businesses safe from thieves.

Several shops that the Gazette has spoken to have expressed gratitude at Ross-on-Wye community police officers. Local police have been helping many local business keep on top of threats.

Local community support officers have been widely praises by several businesses on the Ross high street in their efforts to help retail staff deal with the annual Christmas wave of shoplifting.