A Sunderland Shopwatch scheme has won a regional award.
The North East Retail Crime Partnership (NERCP) awarded those who have made an outstanding contribution to preventing retail crime.
At its annual conference, earlier this month, Sunderland city centre’s Shopwatch scheme won the highest accolade of the day – the award for best shopwatch scheme in the region.
The shopwatch scheme is a partnership between retailers and shopping centres which is supported by police.
In Sunderland, the city centre’s scheme sees retailers and the Bridges Shopping Centre working together to share information to help prevent and detect not just shoplifting but other acquisitive crimes, such as pick-pocketing, in the city centre.
Laura Hartland Adams from the Sunderland BID recently took over as the new Chair of Sunderland City Centre Shopwatch.
“Fantastic news that the scheme has won the award. It’s recognition of the great work of the city centre Police and the businesses do and I’m so glad that Sunderland BID are joining in with this partnership,” she said.
Andrew Bradley from The Bridges Shopping Centre added: “We are delighted that Sunderland has won this prestigious award for the second year running and that the partnership between retailers and the police is working well.
“It also shows our shoppers that we are committed to ensuring that the city is a safe place to visit and stamping out crime in the city centre.”
The scheme is supported by police from the Sunderland central neighbourhood policing team.
The team’s neighbourhood inspector, Jamie Southwell, said: “The scheme is undoubtedly invaluable in supporting the work the neighbourhood policing team does to tackle acquisitive crime in the city centre and I’m delighted that it has been recognised for the second year running.
“Excellent partnership working and information sharing is crucial and its scheme such as these that really do help make a difference.”