A SCHEME to try to protect businesses in Barnoldswick from thieves has been launched.

The £6,000 project will see cutting-edge DNA marking being applied to properties in a unique community-led project, and the town’s shop radio system expanded.

The move follows a spate of burglaries in the town last year.

Coun David Whipp, chairman of the Community Safety Partnership, said: “We have taken a partnership approach to making Barnoldswick safer by improving the security of retail businesses.

“The town’s Chamber of Trade, Pendle Council’s area committee and the Community Safety Partnership has each contributed £2,000 to the scheme, with Barnoldswick Town Council co-ordinating the project and Lancashire Police implementing it.

“DNA marking kits have been bought with the funding. These are being used to protect business properties. The DNA marking deters thieves and helps to detect burglars.

“The marking will be applied by the police in the first community-led project of this kind.

“Shop radios have been bought with the rest of the money. These link traders with each other and with the police.

Any suspicious activity is relayed rapidly around the town. The radios help combat shoplifting and distraction thefts.

“This security scheme helps make Barnoldswick safer and keep it a low-crime area.”

Chamber of Trade chairman Richard Milner, of Chubby’s Chippy, said: “Last year’s burglaries made us all very angry. This scheme shows we won’t be treated as a pushover.

“Working together, we’ve come up with a project that makes our town stronger.”

n David Driver, 37, and Donna Stott, 25, of Farholme Lane, and Ashleigh Fell, 27, and Ryan Raby, 30, of Prince Street, all Bacup, have each been charged with conspiring to burgle properties in Barnoldswick between March and October 2013.

All four will appear at Burnley Crown Court on January 27.