I’ve written a couple of reports on the success of Kent Police’s Forecourt Watch scheme – and went so far as to ask why can’t the rest of the country follow such an impressive example.

As a result I got a call from Terry McCormick, Neighbourhood Watch liaison officer with West Thanet Police, who was the architect of the scheme. He spent 30 years with Kent Police, retiring two years ago but now doing the same job as a civilian.

He told me that the scheme was such a success in Thanet that it pushed crime out to other parts of Kent. The county put two and two together and it led to the creation of nine forecourt watch associations, the widespread adoption of ‘thumb print kits’ and almost overnight an 80% reduction of ‘no means to pay’ excuses. But the point of this story is, Terry McCormick will be happy to help other counties set up their own scheme. This will require a group effort. There would be no point in a retailer contacting Kent Police. The first step would be via your own local police.