Shops step up fight against crime

Launching the scheme in Motherwell
Launching the scheme in Motherwell

Motherwell Shopping Centre will become the first in Scotland to take part in a new scheme targeting shoplifters.

Bosses have been working with the Scottish Business Resilience Centre and Police Scotland to launch the #copdog retailers’ crime reporting initiative. It aims to improve the way shoplifters are reported and reassure the public that shoplifting is taken seriously.

Many people caught shoplifting in the town centre are charged and appear at Hamilton Sheriff Court where they are often jailed or given bail orders banning them from the area.

However, there is concern that thefts not discovered immediately are not reported and that some serial shoplifters might be getting away with it.

A town centre source explained: “Sometimes it’s only when CCTV is reviewed or a stocktake done that a theft is discovered. There might then be a delay before retailer and police meet up.

“Under this scheme shops will be given packs which will allow staff to compile their own statements so everything is documented at the time and ready to hand over to the police.”

Geraldine El Masrour, Motherwell Shopping Centre manager, said: “We have an excellent partnership with SBRC and Police Scotland, in particular town centre officers Brian Ratcliffe and David Gardiner who work with us tirelessly.

“This initiative is one which will help our retailers and customers feel safer. Retailers have jumped on board with #copdog and look forward to seeing the benefits.”

Retailers including Primark, Boots and Argos will all display the cartoon sticker of the #copdog in their windows to show customers they are part of the initiative. It’s hoped the scheme will be rolled out across other shopping centres in the country.

SBRC’s Lorraine Jarvie said: “It’s great to see the stores in Motherwell getting behind this.

“The initiative will make it harder for repeat offenders to shoplift. We hope that when other centres see the benefits it’ll be taken on by them.

“We’re really proud to be part of this initiative which will help create a secure environment for businesses to flourish in.”