Dated: 07 Jun 2012[View Full Size]
Officers in North Tyneside are working with local retailers to shelve shoplifting.
The North Shields Neighbourhood Policing Team has been visiting town centre shops to encourage them to work in partnership with them to tackle the offence.
Posters have been given to retailers saying they are working alongside officers and bearing the Shopwatch logo.
Shopwatch members and police share information about active thieves so store security and staff can be on the lookout for any suspicious behaviour and quickly inform the police if they need help.
Shoplifters or troublesome customers can be excluded from a Shopwatch store. The banning also extends to the rest of the shops in the scheme.
As well as shoplifting, officers are also focusing on handling stolen goods. Shops and pubs which may be susceptible to taking in stolen goods have also received visits.
Steve Nicholson, North Shields Neighbourhood Sergeant, said: "Shoplifting is no less important than any other crime and we will always do all we can identify and apprehend those responsible.
"Shoplifting can also often be the symptom of other issues such as drug misuse with people trying to sell on their stolen property to fund drug habits.
"We want people to come to the area and have an enjoyable shopping experience. By working with retailers, we will ensure this is the case.
"Likewise so-called bargains offered in pubs can be at the expense of others, for example the victim of a house burglary.
"Local businesses and pubs within North Shields town centre have been very positive in embracing the campaign by displaying posters and stickers with the handprint sign.
"We want this image to be a common theme throughout North Shields and to deter would-be thieves from trying to sell on any stolen property they may have.
"We also want people to contact us if they believe they have been offered stolen goods. We can use this information to trace thieves and arrest them with the stolen property. If there's any doubts - don't buy the property."
People can contact police on 101, extension 69191.
PCs Louise Jackson, Mark Mennim and CSO Mark Hopkins pictured outside The Beacon Shopping Centre, North Shields