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Safer shops campaign for Buckskin

Residents and shop owners in Buckskin, Basingstoke, have backed a Safer Shops campaign to help tackle antisocial behaviour.

This new Buckskin scheme follows the successful pilot of the Safer Shops scheme at Burnaby shops, also in Buckskin Ward, in December 2015, and comes as a direct result of the work of the local 4B Community Planning Group. The group stated their support for setting up Safer Shops schemes in Buckskin in their action plan.

The Safer Shops Scheme, which is supported by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, is a response to community feedback in a bid to keep the area a safe and pleasant place to work and visit.

The businesses in the centre of Buckskin consist of a Southern Co-op convenience store, three takeaways – Curry Queen, Food Street and Oriental Garden – and The Ridgeway community centre. Two signs have been put up in the vicinity of these businesses asking people not to ride bikes, scooters or skateboards around the shops; not to play ball games or loiter around the area; not to cause alarm, distress or harassment to others; only to use designated play and recreation areas; and to use the provided litter bins.

The new signs directly address the antisocial behaviour which has been reported by the local businesses.

In addition to the businesses, the residents living in the immediate vicinity of the shops were also consulted about the scheme and at least 81 per cent supported the proposed signs.

It is hoped that setting up a Safer Shops scheme at the Buckskin shops will have a similar effect, reducing and deterring antisocial behaviour in the area, and, consequently, making local residents feel safer.

Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety Cllr Simon Bound said: “The first Safer Shops Scheme was very successful in reducing the number of incidents of antisocial behaviour. Hopefully the new scheme will have a similar effect, reminding people to respect the area and helping to create a safe and pleasant atmosphere for businesses, shoppers and residents alike.”