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Shoplifters could be banned from areas of Middlesbrough under new scheme
SHOPLIFTERS stealing from businesses in Middlesbrough could be banned from the town centre under a new campaign to stamp out crime.
A partnership between police, retailers, the council and probation staff is being signed today in a bid to reduce shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.
The newly-formed Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership has already received the backing of Cleveland Police through Operation Boost, which is targeting repeat offenders.
Those who continually shoplift have been identified by police and will be targeted to prevent further offending – and possible ban or exclude them from certain areas.
Now the partnership – which includes security guards, police, Middlesbrough Council’s neighbourhood wardens, CCTV staff and the Probation Trust – will meet once a month to share information about the most active shoplifters.
This will help stop offences taking place or detail the most persistent offenders.
A new digital radio system will help improve communication between members of the partnership, the police, wardens and the CCTV Centre.
Debbie Anderson, manager of the Cleveland Centre and chairwoman of the Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership (MRCP) steering group said: “Middlesbrough is already a safe place to work, visit and shop but this scheme gives us a 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.
“Enforcement is still a key part to the new MRCP approach, which includes catching and prosecuting offenders, and when the appropriate persistent offenders will be banned from named stores or shopping centres.”
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “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.”
“The message is clear: shoplifting and anti-social behaviour in Middlesbrough town centre will not be tolerated.”
Chief Inspector Dave Lamplough said: “Working closely with our partners in the Middlesbrough Retail Crime Partnership we will provide a more effective and co-ordinated approach to this type of offending.”
The North East Retail Crime Partnership is backing the scheme to ensure local criminals are not displaced into other areas as a result of a successful scheme, helping to reduce crime in the region overall.
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