Police were called in to provide a solution after both Tesco and Marks and Spencer experienced a sharp rise in crime.

But now store managers are hoping to fight the problem with a dedicated on-site police office that can deal with criminals immediately and deter would-be thieves.

Tesco has offered to provide office space and it is hoped uniformed police will be ready to move in within the next month.

It is not yet known how many hours a day a police officer will be present.

PC Mark Everett, of Crowthorne police station, said: "The reason that we are going to have a police point there is because we need a point of contact for the stores.

"It is for us to establish a contact with them but will not be open to residents and shoppers.

"By being able to deal with shoplifters at the site we will have more time available to us to deal with criminals and community problems in Sandhurst."

Shoplifters are currently transported to Maidenhead police station, which wastes time and means losing two officers from Crowthorne and Sandhurst.

Police hope that the new office will allow them more time to deal with local problems.

Police say shoplifters at The Meadows' stores are specifically targeting leather goods. Last Wednesday two leather skirts worth £200 were stolen from Marks and Spencer at around 9pm.

Anyone with information should call (01344) 823456.