A new initiative to snare Christmas shoplifters has been unveiled in Londonderry.
The Foyle City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team have now launched Safe Shop Text Alert.
The scheme aims to raise awareness of the tactics used by shoplifters and subsequently reduce retail crime in the city centre.
PSNI Constable Karen George said: “The text alert format is an extension of the Safe Shop scheme which has been successfully running in the city since 2010.
“The system allows us to share information quickly with retailers about counterfeit notes, distraction thefts and other tactics used by shoplifters.
“The scheme is on offer to all retailers including large chain groups, independent stores and seasonal outlets, and aims to promote a safe and secure working environment for everyone working in the retail industry.”
Fergal Rafferty, manager of Foyleside shopping centre, is among those who have welcomed the scheme. “We are delighted to be a part of this scheme and I would encourage other shops and businesses across the city to get involved,” he said.
“The Safe Shop Scheme continues to be successful in terms of addressing shoplifting and related crime and our retailers are fully supportive of the new text alert system.”
Retailers who sign up are provided with signs to alert potential shoplifters that they are part of the Safe Shop Scheme .
Police said that this should act as a deterrent to anyone entering a store with the intention of committing a crime.
Anyone who wishes to sign up to the scheme or receive further information can contact Karen at City Centre Neighbourhood Team on 075 8597 9436 or email NPTFoyleCityCentre@psni.pnn.police.uk.