A CAMPAIGN to stamp out shoplifting and anti-social behaviour in Middlesbrough town centre has been launched.
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.
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.“
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.”
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.”
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.