Shopwatch scheme is blossoming

A shopwatch scheme to identify suspected shoplifters is growing as it welcomes its 50th retailer.

The scheme is well established in the Morpeth area and sees retailers working together with police to tackle shop crime.

And now Heighley Gate Garden Centre has become the 50th member to join the scheme that can help police identify suspected shoplifters.

Three local Co-op stores in Pegswood, Widdrington and Hadston have also recently joined the initiative.

Morpeth Shopwatch scheme supports Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave, aimed at silencing thieves involved in crimes such as shoplifting.

Morpeth Neighbourhood Inspector Karen Murray said: “The initiative helps us to identify those responsible for committing this sort of crime and not only curb their behaviour but also make sure action is taken to ensure they face the consequences.

“I’d like to remind those who think they can get away with shoplifting that most stores now have good quality CCTV cameras which are closely monitored.

“If a shoplifter isn’t arrested instantly, we will meticulously view CCTV to identify those responsible and not hesitate in asking for the public’s help in identifying individuals.”