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Police ‘adopt a shop’ in crackdown on town centre crime

TOWN centre businesses will be given a dedicated police contact as part of a new Cops Adopt A Shop scheme to cut retail crime in Northampton.

Retailers will be able to have regular conversations with a named police officer, with a view to establishing a more cohesive approach to tackling town centre crime and a closer working relationship between police officers and retailers.

Karrine Akers, store manager at River Island in Northampton town centre, is pictured with PCSOs Minnie Larkin (left) and Rea Abbott-Huckin.

Inspector Beth Curlett, of the Northampton Neighbourhood Team, said:

“The idea is to offer retailers in the heart of the town centre their own personal police contact from the Priority Area Team.

“The shop will meet and have the contact details for their officer who will drop by and see them as regularly as is felt needed – usually every few weeks. The officer can be expected to provide general advice and problem solving around anything that is not a police emergency.

“Each officer will have responsibility for a handful of shops which will be manageable alongside their other duties. This will ensure meaningful interactions and highlight the police presence in the town.

“Alongside this we will ask the retailers to sign up to Neighbourhood Alert, which will give them access to high-level live-time messaging relevant to their location.”

The scheme is a collaboration by Northampton Town Centre BID, Northamptonshire Police, West Northamptonshire Council and the Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership.

The campaign, which follows on from a meeting between the BID and Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold last month, launched yesterday (October 27), with officers visiting a number of retailers who have already expressed interest in the scheme.

Mark Mullen pictured, operations manager of Northampton Town Centre BID, an organisation run by business owners to make Northampton a better place to live, shop and work, said: “For many businesses, perceptions of retail crime and anti-social behaviour is their number one concern.

“The Cops Adopt A Shop scheme is a way to address those concerns and bring businesses closer to the police so they can work together to identify repeat offenders and protect their business, their staff and their customers from the threat of crime.”

The project will also see refocused police involvement in the Northampton Retail Crime Initiative and the Northampton Town Anti-Social Behaviour Reporting Scheme – a mobile app for reporting anti-social behaviour issues and sharing business crime intelligence, funded by the BID and free for use by all BID levy-paying businesses.

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