SUNDERLAND’S first female bouncer is set to expose the secret life of the city’s shoplifters.
Pint-sized powerhouse Christine Poole will appear on a new Channel 5 programme tonight (Monday, october 21).
Shoplifters & Proud lifts the lid on the underworld of thieves who are earning a living from selling stolen goods.
Five-foot-two high Christine, who began her security career more than 20-years-ago, is on familiar terms with many of Sunderland’s prolific shoplifters, and spent two weeks in June and July, in The Bridges shopping centre, introducing them to the programme’s film crew.
“They’re all right with me,” said Chrsitine, a sixth Dan bushido Ju Jitsu expert. “I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a woman, or because I’ve never dragged them about.
“I’ve got the same philosophy as the Buddhist monks – I wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Christine, who is single, started working in security to fund renovations to her home in 1991.
She went on to man doors in countless city bars including Banana Joe’s, Privilege, and Manor Quay, in its heyday.
Three-years-ago she retired from the doors to start her own security company, GPS GlobalTech Security, based at the BIC Centre, in Wearfield, although she still lends a hand when venues such as the Sunderland Empire require a female bouncer.
Tonight she will be seen coming face-to-face with some of the thousands of shoplifters she has caught red handed over the years.
“It’s strange because with me they say ‘all right Chris,’” she said.
“I’ve called the police on them – I’ve never, ever, turned a blind eye – and I wouldn’t go for a coffee or anything with them, but they say ‘all right.’
“I like a lot of them. They’re OK. They just went down the wrong path.”
But Christine has had to put up with some abuse from the thieves she’s caught.
“Some of them are right on the borderline and calling you all sorts,” she said. “But you have to remember that people are watching. If you have to pin them down you have to be careful.”
In fact, she is more nervous about the programme airing than tackling the criminals she has dealt with day-to-day.
“I am really nervous about the programme,” she said. “I filmed it and that’s it. I know nothing else about it.
“Channel 4 and Sky have been in touch with me since it was made, but I’ve said I’m not doing anything else until I’ve seen this.”
Shoplifters & Proud will air at 9pm on Channel 5 tonight.