South Wales Police have commended a new scheme which has been set up in Cardiff City Centre.
Stitch 'em Up, a service designed to combat the ever increasing problem of pickpocket crime in retail areas is the brainchild of Ms. Olwen Davies from Penarth.
In a recent interview for 'the NOT news' Ms. Davies said:
'I was sick to the back teeth of losing my credit cards and other valuables to goddamn junkie pickpockets and so were most of my friends. We decided to form an anti-nicking cooperative and the service, which is now fully up and running, is operated mainly by elderly, female volunteer workers. All of our ladies have a great deal of needle work experience. Some have even worked for Nestle knitting Shreddies.'
'We have Stitchers and Unpickers situated at each end of what the police consider to be the most affected streets and also at the entrance and exit areas of the undercover shopping precincts. For a reasonable fee (to cover admin costs) our Stitchers will quickly and efficiently secure pockets and handbag openings with heavy duty polyester thread. The shopper will be issued with a ticket which can be handed to any one of the cities Unpickers before 6pm. Shoppers who are particularly worried that they may become pickpocket victims on their way home can of course opt to do their own unpicking once they reach the relative safety of their destination.' There will however, be no reduction in the charge if they decide to do this.'
A police spokesman said:
'In the three months since this scheme was put into place we have seen figures for the reporting of personal theft crime go through the floor. This reduction in crime has had the additional positive effect of freeing up more time for officers to nip out and score pre-packed sandwiches and sugar free red bull from Tesco's garage.'
City centre shop keepers, in opposition to the police, were less keen on the scheme and many were quick to highlight the problem that shoppers with their pockets sewn shut were much less likely to make unplanned purchases. One store manager added:
'Most retail surveys indicate that spontaneous purchasing is responsible for 65% of the public spending on the UK high street. These silly Nanas with their silly schemes should do some market research and consider the knock on effect of their cooperative. Their provisional figures suggest that as a result of their stitch up operation there will be no shopper directed pickpocket crime within eighteen months. I tend to agree with these figures ... I also think that within the same time scale there will be NO SHOPS!'
A spokeman for Tesco said: 'It sounds great to me! Bring it on!'