New members for Shop Watch scheme
Dated: 16 May 2012[View Full Size]
Northumberland charity stores are the latest to join a scheme to stop shoplifters.
Age Concern, British Heart Foundation, Barnardoes, Cancer Research, Oxfam and Relate have all signed up to Morpeth Shop Watch after falling victim to shoplifters.
The scheme now boasts 35 members across Morpeth town centre shops and department stores.
Shopwatch members and police share information about active thieves so that 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.
Morpeth Community Support Officers set up plain clothes operations to help the new subscribers get used to their radio which allows them to communicate directly with police and other Shop Watch members.
The training operations raised staff's awareness of suspicious activity and potential shoplifters in their stores and encouraged them to pass descriptions of potential offenders and which direction they are travelling so others could be on the look out.
Morpeth Neighbourhood Sergeant, Sharon Wilmore-Greaves, said: "The emphasis of the Shop Watch scheme is to prevent shop theft before it happens by alerting other businesses and raising awareness.
"We want to reduce shop theft across Morpeth and send a message to anyone thinking about stealing from the town's shops that they are being watched, will be caught and action taken against them."
New members of the Morpeth Shop Watch scheme