ON ALERT: Briefing on phone app move in war against shoplifters. Photo Source: Torrevieja Ayuntamiento website
Torrevieja businesses have joined forces with the local council, police, and Guardia Civil to launch a new alert system over potential shoplifters. The scheme is called Prevecom and has been launched by the council ́s commerce department. Shops, hotels, bars, and restaurants in addition taxis will have a Prevcom sticker displayed, and they will have access via their mobile phone to a special WhatsApp group. That will give them immediate contact with other local business owners, as well as the Guardia Civil and Torrevieja police if they spot anything suspicious.
The “tip-off” system does not replace the traditional way of calling the emergency number to report a crime, but is meant to act as a way of sharing information that a crime could be about to be committed in the area. Torrevieja ́s Guardia Civil chief Santiago Fernández said that the new initiative should create a new sense of community amongst business owners, and it would allow them to be put on alert if possible trouble is brewing. He also hoped that the quality of security cameras on-premises will be improved, as cheap systems seem to be only used as a deterrent, whilst higher resolution images would mean more criminals being identified and prosecuted.
Representatives of local business associations met with police and council officials at Torrevieja ́s town hall and were given a demonstration on how the WhatsApp group will work, as well as getting a supply of forms for their members to sign up to thePrevecom initiative. The police and Guardia Civil said that they would also be stepping up patrols at peak times in busy shopping areas around the city.