TRADERS and police are joining forces to kick shoplifters out of Morpeth.
Local officers have teamed up with Retailers Against Crime North East to tackle the problem of theft alongside the established Shopwatch scheme.
More than 30 businesses are signed up to Shopwatch, enabling them to share information with each other and police about suspected thieves.
And now Retailers Against Crime has provided training to help traders guard against criminals.
Regional Operations Manager Sarah Dougherty said: “We have recently delivered two training sessions to retailers in Morpeth town centre in association with Sanderson Arcade.
“Those who attended are now significantly more aware of the different techniques and types of offenders who pose a threat.
“I have no doubt that Morpeth is now a hard target for criminals involved in retail crime.”
Sanderson Arcade, which has 27 retail outlets, has taken full advantage of the Shopwatch initiative since its opening, with its tenants able to communicate quickly with others and neighbourhood officers through the radio system.
Manager Debbie Anderson said: “I am delighted with the way the Shopwatch scheme is working and the support we receive from the Community Support Officers in Morpeth.
“The Retailers Against Crime training was a great opportunity to network with other users of Shopwatch.”
Acting Sergeant Andrea Teasdale, from the Morpeth Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Retailers involved with Shopwatch have been sharing excellent information about suspicious activity.
“We hope they will continue to use their radios as it helps us to maintain low crime levels and to keep Morpeth a safe town for both residents and visitors.”
Any retailers interested in finding out more about Shopwatch should contact police on 03456 043043, ext 69191.