There’s been a decrease in shoplifting in Derry since the introduction of a ‘Safe Shop’ initiative by the PSNI two years ago.
Thieves are also set to feel more heat as the force prepares to pilot a new ‘Facewatch’ online project, which will make it easier to identify serial shoplifters.
Justice Minister Claire Sugden, revealing the progress, said: “The PSNI’s Safe Shop scheme, which is now in its second year of delivery throughout Northern Ireland, provides bespoke face to face information sessions and resource packs for retailers to help prevent, detect and deter retail crime and personal safety of staff. Since its launch, PSNI figures show a downward trend in shoplifting crime in Belfast and Londonderry city areas, as well as other areas utilising this scheme.”
She said the ‘Safe Shop’ scheme aims to ‘Prevent, Detect and Deter’ crimes against local staff and businesses and that it’s been working so far. ‘Facewatch’ is an attempt to build further on this.
“The PSNI are also putting in place a pilot scheme involving ‘Facewatch’, which is an online reporting platform to improve identification rates of persons involved in crime, including retail crime, by utilising key industry partners, text alerts and a Notepad scheme as a staff aide memoire initiative covering powers and procedures,” she said.
“Further PSNI initiatives include improving the identification of offenders which is being advanced by utilising key industry partners in a bid to identify offenders.”