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Retailers rally to back town centre anti-crime campaign

DOZENS of businesses have signed up to a new scheme aimed at cutting retail crime in Northampton town centre.

The Cops Adopt A Shop campaign, a joint initiative between Northamptonshire Police, Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District, West Northamptonshire Council and the Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership, sees retailers given a dedicated police contact with whom they can have regular conversations.

The scheme, launched in October, aims to foster a more cohesive approach to tackling town centre crime and a closer working relationship between police officers and retailers. A total 37 shops have already signed up, with another 19 anticipated to join them in the next month or so.

Inspector Beth Curlett, of the Northampton Neighbourhood Team, said: “All have received the literature about the scheme, and those we have adopted so far have all provided good feedback. It has provided a greater level of visibility within the priority area and, as relationships progress, I am confident we will see an increase in intelligence.”

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. It is funded by the BID and free for use by all BID levy-paying businesses.

Mark Mullen pictured, operations manager of Northampton Town Centre BID,  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 early signs have been really encouraging and we look forward to seeing this have a real impact going into 2022 and beyond.”

Each officer involved in the scheme has  responsibility for a handful of shops which they manage alongside their other duties.

Tom Litchfield, operations manager for Grosvenor Shopping Northampton, said: “This is a great initiative and we are looking forward to working closely with the police in the future. We have had an incredibly productive monthly meeting and will be sharing a monthly flash report outlining the crime statistics relating to the centre and our occupiers.”   

Northampton town centre

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