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Launch of traders' new initiative

PUBLISHED: 19:17 08 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

THERE was a positive vibe in the air as shopkeepers and residents got together to launch the Nacton Trade Guard.

The first meeting of the new venture took place at the Margaret Catchpole pub on Cliff Lane saw more than twenty representatives from the Queensway and Nacton Road shopping parades.

By Victoria Knowles

Victoria.knowles@ecng.co.uk

THERE was a positive vibe in the air as shopkeepers and residents got together to launch the Nacton Trade Guard.

The first meeting of the new venture took place at the Margaret Catchpole pub on Cliff Lane saw more than twenty representatives from the Queensway and Nacton Road shopping parades.

Brian Potter, chairman of the new committee opened the meeting optimistic about its future.

He said: "We can all work together to make these shopping areas a better shopping and working experience for everyone."

Pc Martin Shearer was also there to lend support on behalf of the police, he said: "This is an idea I first tried to get going about 18 months ago. As your community beat officer I am well aware of the problems you face but rather than acting as individuals you now have a name and more clout to reach your targets. You may also be able to get sponsorship and funding."

Many shop owners were concerned about vandalism escalating out of control and said the police response can sometimes be too slow.

One shop owner said: "It is all very well calling the police but often they get there too late and miss the trouble makers."

Mr Potter and others called for CCTV to be installed to help cut crime.

Residents raised the subject of needing input from the educational authorities to deal with the amount of children on the streets during the day.

Pc Shearer talked of using anti-social behaviour contracts to cut crime. The scheme involves parents as well as children and required them to sign a contract to behave. If they break the contract there is the possibility they could be made homeless.

Making links between Ravenswood and the two shopping areas was also raised as many at the meeting felt Ravenswood knew nothing about them and the services on offer.

Council representatives attended and offered help.

While there is a long way to go the meeting laid the building blocks to a hopefully successful group which will utilise the facilities and authorities on offer to them.

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