A SCHEME which aims to cut retail crime across the city has been given an award for its hard work.
Sunderland Shopwatch has been recognised for its outstanding performance by the Association of Shopwatch Partnerships and Retailers Against Crime North East.
The scheme also scooped the award for best shopwatch contribution in the Northumbria Police area.
The association is made up of all large retailers in the region, from Northumberland to York, and the awards attract nominations from all three police forces.
At a ceremony last week Pc Steve Stringer and Pc Gill Calvert received the award in recognition by its members of their hard work and contribution to making it a success.
Sunderland Central Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector Neal Craig said: “This is the second year running Sunderland Shopwatch has won an award and it’s a credit to everyone involved that their work is being recognised.
“This is a great example of how effective working in partnership with other agencies and organisations is in making the city even safer and we will continue to offer the scheme our full support.
“It’s a great credit to everyone involved in that they have been recognised for the hard work and commitment they put in to make it a success and the important role working together plays in helping reduce crime and disorder and we will continue to offer it our full support.”
Sunderland Shopwatch was launched in 1996 with the aim of retailers and police working together to cut crime in shops.
Currently, about 82 city centre shops have signed up to the scheme.
Earlier this year, two prolific shoplifters were given exclusion orders by Newcastle Crown Court banning them from stores in the scheme.
The scheme currently covers the city centre but there are plans to roll it out to Pallion Retail Park.