BOSSES are being urged to vote in favour of renewing a scheme which battles crime on industrial estates.

Business owners are being urged to show their support for a third term of Witham Industrial Watch’s five-year programme which aims to prevent break-ins and other incidents.

A vote on the Business Improvement District proposal, or BID, begins this week and, if given the go-ahead by businesses, it will run from 2019 to 2024.

It sees Braintree Council collect a levy from the businesses and give it to the group to use to keep the area safe and tidy.

The scheme currently has 82 CCTV cameras, ANPR cameras linked to the police, eight defibrillators, a gritting service, extra rubbish bins and a website for businesses.

Director Chris Dale said: “An amazing change has taken place on the estates since Witham Industrial Watch’s Business Improvement District’s first scheme started ten years ago.

“As a local businessman I was frustrated at the number of incidents, thefts and scruffy areas that encouraged unwelcome visitors.

“Today we have a safer and cleaner industrial area with less crime, fewer incidents, estate managers, eight defibrillators and the latest CCTV and ANPR cameras.

“A yes vote will allow us to build on our success but a no vote will mean the end to the estate managers, CCTV, ANPR cameras, monitoring, gritting and defibrillators.”

Mr Dale said the group’s prospectus for the next five years has been developed after speaking to business owners about their concerns.

It includes continuing to support crime prevention measures, road gritting, better signage and improving the appearance of the estates.

Ballot papers are currently being distributed and must be returned by July 30.