A NEW co-operative scheme has been launched to crackdown on crime and anti-social behaviour affecting businesses in Bridgwater.

The new initiative, known as the DISC system, is being run by Sedgemoor District Council in partnership with Avon and Somerset Police, aiming to combine CCTV, radio link and sharing information online.

As part of the Safer Somerset Business Partnership, businesses pay to sign up and will have access to an app where intelligence can be shared between businesses, the police and the council in a bid to better deter crimes like shoplifting, theft and violence..

It is currently estimated that between 40 to 60 per cent of all crime affecting retail businesses goes unreported and it is hoped the new system will mean more effective action can be taken.

Deb Withers, manager of Sports Direct in Bridgwater which is signing up to the DISC system, said the current situation in town is ‘shocking’.

“I have worked here for 13 years and it is the worst it has been,” she said.

“Petty criminals are ruling the roost and it’s time to take the town back.”

DISC administrator for Sedgemoor District Council Simon Bawler emphasised the more businesses sign up and effectively contribute to the DISC, the more effective it will be.

The DISC system also has links with other Somerset towns so information can be shared which may affect each high street.