THE first arrest in Hereford was made this week due to information provided by a new new website called Facewatch.

The online portal allows communities and businesses across the Warwickshire and West Mercia Police areas to share information about possible troublemakers and low-level criminals.

It was launched this week for Hereford and Malvern.

Information can be shared instantly; for example, night club owners and staff can share images and details with other licensed premises of customers with bans trying to gain entry to a certain club.

Police sergeant Duncan Reynolds of the Hereford city safer neighbourhood team said the first arrest was made on Tuesday, June 30 with information received from Facewatch.

He said a suspected thief, who had been shared on Facewatch, was recognised in Marks and Spencer. This was reported to Sgt Reynolds over the CCTV radio and the suspect was arrested- they received a police caution after admitting the offence.

This is the first such arrest across the West Mercia and Warwickshire policing alliance.

The website is expected to save numerous hours of officer time that would be spent visiting premises, securing and processing CCTV images.

Chief inspector of the Hereford safer neighbourhood team, Nick Semper, said: "Facewatch is a key way of linking up various members of Hereford and Malvern's business communities and empowering them through the sharing of information. "Dialogue between businesses and the police is crucial to preventing crime and protecting people from harm."

Dan Guerche, manager of Play nightclub and chair of Hereford Against Night-time Disorder said Facewatch makes it easier for fellow club owners and door staff to keep known trouble makers out of the city's establishments.