A year after the formal launch of the Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership members are celebrating success after receiving the top award at the North East Retail Crime Conference that was held in Durham on Wednesday 15th October 2014.
The Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said "I was invited to formally launch the new Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership in October 2013. I am delighted to see that over the course of the past year the MRCP have become a professional and well-coordinated Scheme that has developed into a very strong multi-agency partnership that tackles crime and disorder within the Middlesbrough town centre. Since the scheme was formally launched in October 2013 shoplifting and stock losses have reduced and Middlesbrough town centre is proving to be a safe place to work, visit and shop."
The Scheme is led by representatives from the Hill Street Centre, Captain Cook Square, Cleveland Centre, Dundas Arcade, Marks and Spencer’s, Boots and Debenhams and are supported by representatives from Middlesbrough Police, Middlesbrough Local Authority, the North East Retail Crime Partnership, Sitelink Communications Limited and Safe in Tees Valley.
A new Digital radio system has been introduced for all members and they now operate from the same radio channel. This has helped members to share information quickly about individuals that are believed to be involved in crime and anti-social behaviour and has allowed members supported by the police and street wardens to work together to prevent offences taking places and deter those that have the intention to commit crime in the town.
The Police have fully backed the Retail Crime Partnership by providing Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers that are tasked to support MRCP members through ‘Operation Boost’. The Police are linked to the Scheme members through the radio system and allow a rapid response to deter offending and improve safety for those that work and visit the town centre.
Further partnership working with the Middlesbrough Integrated Offender Management Team has enabled the Probation and Prison service to target the most determined offenders and challenge their behaviour.
Lynn Stainsby, Centre Manager, Captain Cook Square who acts as Chair of the Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership Steering Group said "We are delighted to have received this award. I think that it provides confirmation that we are doing the right thing to improve the safety of staff and customers and reduce stock loss. Being part of a well-coordinated team raises the confidence of staff to address issues of crime and disorder.
We have developed excellent radio links with immediate contact to the Police, CCTV Centre and Council Neighbourhood Wardens. Members have the capability to call for immediate assistance through an emergency button on the radio which particularly provides reassurance to lone workers and those that may be vulnerable.
Our robust information sharing arrangements between MRCP members and supporting agencies has improved professionalism and effectiveness. This together with the additional partnership support through the Police, Local Authority, Probation and Prison Service has allowed us to address offenders and the concerns that members have in respect of crime and anti-social behaviour."
Sarah Dougherty, manager of the North East Retail Crime Partnership, said: "Retail is not a victimless crime and cost businesses £511m last year. There are many well organised shopwatch schemes across the North East but we were particularly impressed with the Scheme that has developed in Middlesbrough and felt that this was an excellent example of how a partnership approach can help to reduce crime and help customers and staff feel safe."
Posted on Thursday 23rd October 2014