Charity shops join scheme to foil thieves

New members of the Morpeth Shop Watch scheme.
New members of the Morpeth Shop Watch scheme.

SIX charity shops in Morpeth have signed up for an initiative intended to help keep shoplifters at bay.

The town’s Age Concern, British Heart Foundation, Barnardo’s, Cancer Research, Oxfam and Relate shops have all joined Morpeth’s ‘shopwatch’ after being targeted by thieves.

The scheme now has 35 members, and it allows them to share information with each other and the police about thieves at large in the town, so staff can be on the lookout.

Shoplifters or troublemakers banned from any store signed up to the scheme are automatically excluded from the rest too.

Community support officers helped the new subscribers get used to their radios, allowing them to communicate directly with police and other scheme members.

Staff were also given advice on the types of suspicious activity they should look out for.

Sergeant, Sharon Wilmore-Greaves, of Morpeth’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “The emphasis of the shopwatch 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 will be taken against them.”