POLICE are advising business victims of smash-and-grab raids in Lymington to spend more money on CCTV, councillors were told.
The crime-fighting suggestion follows a recent spate of burglaries and damage to shops in the town centre with windows smashed and cash stolen.
The security idea from Sgt Paul Beale was relayed to a meeting of Lymington and Pennington Town Council by town clerk Caroline Godfrey, who had a meeting with him last month.
She said: “He did mention their limited resources and that they had been carrying out a number of operations to try to catch the perpetrators.
“He advised businesses to upgrade their CCTV systems and also to report everything that seems suspicious.”
Traders should watch out for thieves reconnoitring their target first, she said. Scammers had even been asking businesses recently for £100 to join a fake scheme purporting to turn youngsters away from crime.
“People are kind and they think they are helping,” said Mrs Godfrey, and she urged people to report suspicions.
Cllr Jacqui England, who owns a business on Quay Hill, questioned whether criminals had become more active since Hampshire County Council had started dimming streetlights to save money.
Cllr Jack Davies said: “This is a pressing concern. This whole thing about police advice is to avoid them spending money where possible because they do not have any. To advice businesses to upgrade their CCTV – a lot of businesses just could not afford it.”
He asked whether the council would consider subsidising traders to make their premises more secure.
Mrs Godfrey said she would seek another meeting with the area inspector, who could not attend the previous one.