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PCC funds equipment to shelve shoplifting

19 Mar 2015 11:35 AM

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Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner has funded new equipment which aims to reduce shoplifting and tackle anti-social behaviour in South Tyneside.

Shopwatch retailers at The Nook, on Prince Edward Road, South Shields, will be using new radios courtesy of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird's Community Fund.

The radios will be used by stores which have been experiencing more issues of shoplifting and allow staff to report crimes more quickly to police, plus alert other shops in the scheme that the offender may be heading their way.

For further security, a new CCTV camera has also been installed at the shopping area.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: "The Nook is a vibrant shopping area with great community spirit. We want to make sure it stays that way and remains a pleasant place for shoppers and traders.

"Shopwatch schemes are extremely successful and an excellent way of retailers working together with the police to share information.

"I was delighted to provide funding for this equipment which will bring further successes to this particular scheme by allowing traders to keep in contact with each other, work in partnership with the police and address issues quickly and proactively.

"Not only will it help to stop incidents of shoplifting, the equipment will also go a long way to combat anti-social behaviour and increase community confidence which are two objectives in my police and crime plan."

PC Neil Morris, Neighbourhood Beat Manager for the area, added: "We're extremely grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner whose Community Fund has allowed us to purchase this new equipment.

"This will enable the shops to report crimes more quickly and help identify those responsible which in turn will enable swifter arrests and prosecutions."

The crime prevention improvements have also been supported by the East Shields and Whitburn Community Area Forum, while the camera installation was also made possible thanks to South Tyneside’s Safer Neighbourhood Team and South Tyneside Homes.

The radio and CCTV equipment connects to South Tyneside Council’s Control Room, which has a direct link to police on the ground.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: "Shoplifting is a national issue, however here in South Tyneside we are taking a proactive multi-agency approach to reducing incidences across the Borough.

"The new radio network for traders at The Nook is just one of the ways we are working to tackle the issue, strengthen our crime prevention efforts and support local businesses.

"Schemes such as this enable businesses to communicate more effectively and quickly share information about suspected and known offenders over a simple radio device.

"The addition of the CCTV means that offenders can also be tracked on camera, providing vital footage for police in securing a prosecution."

Shopwatch schemes in other parts of South Tyneside such as South Shields Town Centre have already proven successful with a 90% shoplifting detection rate.

For more information about policing in your area visit, www.northumbria.police.uk

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