As proud sponsor of the Convenience Store Zero Tolerance campaign, last night saw Loomis attend this years Convenience Retail Awards held at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel.
Loomis were delighted to both attend and present the award for Zero Tolerance on the night which is an opportunity for the convenience sector to recognise outstanding achievement.
The CRA Zero Tolerance award was presented to Lesley & William Brown, who run Frankmarsh Stores in Barnstaple, Devon. The award stood as recognition to their commitment to the local community and their stand against local crime.Representatives of Loomis were delighted to both attend and present the award for Zero Tolerance on the night which is an opportunity for the convenience sector to recognise outstanding achievement.
Lesley and William’s problems started when residents on their estate began selling drugs from their house almost two years ago. Drug abusers took to hanging around the area at all hours and when they started threatening people it was time for a stand.
“We were sure they were shoplifting from the store, but we were never able to catch them,” says William. “And when staff refused to serve them because they were under the influence of drugs they became abusive.”
When the severity of the situation became clear, the Browns contacted other residents and held a meeting to discuss what to do. “All of the residents decided they had had enough and the police were asked to get involved,” says Lesley. “We gave evidence to help the police get the house emptied and we offered to appear in court as other residents were afraid that they would be targeted if they did the same.”
The police shut the drugs den down and after court appearances the family in question was evicted from the estate. The Browns were wary that the dealers would come back for revenge on them for giving evidence in court. “We were afraid of reprisals but it has never happened and thankfully the drugs have gone from the area,” says Lesley.
“The community has become empowered now,” says William. “Before this nobody took pride in the area and the residents were scared that something would happen to them if they contacted the police about the drug dealers or users, but now they stand up for themselves. When we moved here 10 years ago there was graffiti everywhere, but now there’s none. We’ve all bonded as a community to cut out this sort of thing and make the area safer for residents.”
Present for Loomis were Risk Director Tony Benson, Commercial Director Stuart Bartlett, Marketing Director Alex Pettefer and Client Director David Welham who were joined by customers from across the retail and banking sectors.
Tony Benson, Risk Director of Loomis stated, “Lesley and William Brown have demonstrated immense courage and their determination to help their community rise against criminality is truly admirable. It takes a positive attitude and strong resolve not to be intimidated by unlawful behaviour and with this, the couple has been able to inspire their community, which has successfully deterred criminals, but has also spurred a neighbourhood campaign.”
Benson continued; “Lesley has also shown real initiative in taking simple steps to protect her business; ensuring everything from staff training to in-store security has helped minimise the risk. Her close relationship with the police shows her commitment to zero tolerance and she is a worthy award winner.”
“At Loomis we deal with risk reduction and provide retailers with security advice on a daily basis. Many processes to secure a safer environment within a small retailer are a matter of common sense, and Lesley’s proactive approach is the best place to start.”