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Owner of Upminster Taproom sets up Whatsapp group for town centre traders to raise awareness and keep area safe

PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 December 2017

Upminster Tap Room 1b Sunnyside Gardens Upminster 17.12.15. Co-owners Bob Knowles and Caroline Sheldon

Upminster Tap Room 1b Sunnyside Gardens Upminster 17.12.15. Co-owners Bob Knowles and Caroline Sheldon

Archant

Traders are determined to "take back the town", following a rise in anti-social behaviour and thefts, by raising awareness among the businesses in the area.

Hornchurch High Street.Hornchurch High Street.

Owner of Upminster Taproom, Sunnyside Gardens, Upminster, Caroline Sheldon, launched the Upminster Traders Whatsapp group last week in a bid to show the business community some support.

She said: “It’s more important than ever for traders to feel like they are part of the community and can turn to those working nearby for any help or just want to make everyone aware of certain issues.

“The group is for traders and businesses owners only so we can monitor what is going on among ourselves.”

From a group of teens “trashing” Cost Cutter in Upminster, to anti-social behaviour taking place outside businesses and in the high street, traders will use the Whatsapp group to share pictures and CCTV of the culprits and warn one another of incidents.

Inspiration for the group came from owner of the franchise Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe in High Street, Hornchurch, Julie Allsop.

The town centre businesses launched their Whatsapp group three years ago and says it has improved the community feel in the area and wants to see a group start up in Romford town centre as well as a group for Havering businesses in general.

She said: “Especially these days, when there’s been so much moped crime and crime in general, it’s good that we’ve all been able to stay in touch to keep the high street and our businesses safe.

“We look out for each other and I think it would be good to have something like that borough-wide so we can keep in touch and make sure we keep Havering’s businesses safe.”

Caroline will be inviting more businesses in Upminster to join the traders group this week.

She said: “I think this is going to really benefit the area and help deter anti-social behaviour.

“We’ve had enough and it’s time to take back the town for ourselves.”

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