POLICE are working with worried traders to crack down on shoplifting.

Over the past year, 21 shoplifting or theft offences have taken place in The Broadway, Woodford Green, which equates to two reported each month.

As a result, police have stepped up protection of vulnerable shops.

PC Mark Rowe, dedicated walk officer for Monkhams ward, outlined the mixture of measures designed to keep businesses safe.

He said: “As a safer neighbourhood team we regularly patrol the Broadway and have good contact with the shop keepers.

"They all have our contact details and are always advised to contact 101 or 999 in the first instance. This is a mixture of uniform and plain clothes patrols.

“We have recently visited the shop keepers in the Broadway and given crime prevention advice & reassurance."

Members of the community can also express their concerns to police during “street a week”.

PC Rowe said: “These drop in surgeries are very low key and gives local residents the opportunity to meet there local safer neighbourhood team in an informal environment so that they can report crime and/or receive crime prevention advice.”

The most recent session was held in Broadway Close on November 19.

Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, backed worried traders and praised police for their collaborative work.

He said: “The retailers have justifiable concerns about the impact of shoplifting on their businesses and the local police commander listened to these concerns.

"It is therefore very pleasing to hear that the subsequent police response has yielded a positive result.”