THE manager of Boscombe Sovereign Centre plans to relaunch a Shop Watch scheme to crack down on derelicts and shoplifters.

Ray McGlynn is asking all traders in a five-mile radius join in with the scheme.

He is asking them to pay £300 each and said the scheme would be operated by a security company.

He said: “It’s going to be a professionally operated information sharing scheme.

“We should be able to identify problems quickly because you can run the information through a computer and get the statistics.”

Mr McGlynn plans to have it up and running in five weeks and he appealed for interested traders to get in touch – he needs at least 40 to sign up.

He gave the news at February’s meeting of the Boscombe Business Forum.

Several traders had told the meeting that clearing up the number of derelicts in the area should be a priority.

One said: “You can spend as much money as you want on flowers and making things look nice, it’s the druggies and homeless people that makes people not want to shop here.”

Another said: “We had a man and woman off their heads come charging through our store.

“We got them out the store as quickly as possible because if you call the police it takes somebody half an hour to turn up.”

PCSO Meredith Hack told the meeting there had been 10 cases of recorded shoplifting since January 1, compared with 21 over the same period the previous year.

Mr McGlynn said the level of anti-social behaviour in the centre itself had declined since he took over.

Cllr Chris Wakefield backed the scheme and said good intelligence was crucial to police work and cutting crime.

Any money left over from the scheme will be reinvested into the community, said Mr McGlynn.