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Commissioner Urges Retailers to Join the Fight Against Crime

Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership Launch

PCC Barry Coppinger with members of the Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership at the launch

Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, is backing a campaign to stamp out shoplifting and anti-social behaviour in Middlesbrough town centre.

The co-ordinated plan to make the town a safer place for people to work and visit has been unveiled by the newly formed Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership.

Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership has already received the backing of Cleveland Police through Operation Boost - a targeted police and partner operation to target repeat offenders.

The scheme has been in development since January 2013. A new Steering Group that is being led by shopping centre managers and retailers has been formed and has already driven through some major improvements.

These include monthly operations meetings that take place at the Police Station and are attended by security guards, the police, Middlesbrough Council neighbourhood wardens, Middlesbrough CCTV staff, the Probation Trust and the North East Retail Crime Partnership.

Information is exchanged that has enabled all members and partners to be aware of the most active shoplifters and has helped scheme members to either deter offences from taking place or detain those that are the most persistent.

This has been backed by a new digital radio system delivered through the local radio provider Sitelink. This has improved the communication between members, the police, wardens and the CCTV Centre.

Debbie Anderson, Manager of the Cleveland Centre and Chair of the MRCP Steering Group said: “Middlesbrough is already a safe place to work, visit and shop but this scheme gives us that little bit extra.

“Information is being exchanged between the police and members and it has really improved the way that we work together to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

“Enforcement is still a key part to the new MRCP approach, which includes catching and prosecuting offenders, and when appropriate persistent offenders will be banned from named stores or shopping centres.”

Cleveland, Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, said: “I am delighted to formally launch the new Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership and Operation Boost.

“The new MRCP provides a very exciting opportunity to create a real change to prevent and deter retail crime and town centre anti-social behaviour.

“This is a great example of how Cleveland Police, members of the Retail Crime Partnership and partner agencies are being effectively coordinated to provide a rapid response to address retail crime and anti-social behaviour.

“The message is clear shoplifting and anti-social behaviour in Middlesbrough town centre will not be tolerated.”

Chief Inspector Dave Lamplough said, “Operation Boost is a multi-agency operation with a primary aim to prevent retail crime in Middlesbrough. Police officers and staff will be increasingly visible in the Town Centre area working closely with wardens and security staff to Prevent, Deter, Apprehend and Prosecute offenders. Persistent offenders have been identified and will be targeted to prevent their offending, ban or exclude them from stipulated areas. Working closely with our partners in the Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership we will provide a more effective and co-ordinated approach to this type of offending.” 

The scheme is also backed by the North East Retail Crime Partnership, which works to ensure that a regional approach is taken to target travelling offenders and ensure local criminals are not displaced into other areas as a result of a successful scheme. By taking this regional approach there is a much better chance of reducing crime in the north east overall.

There are currently 37 members of the new scheme and the Steering Group are now hoping that the membership will increase as the scheme gathers momentum.

Sitelink will be offering the free use of the Scheme radios for a period of two weeks to new members so that they can assess the benefits of being part of the Scheme.

Enquiries in respect of membership can be made through Sitelink Communications Limited, telephone number 01642 232468 or email teesside@sitelink.co.uk


Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2013
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