A RETAILER has been praised for taking the initiative to reduce shoplifting and other crimes by providing funding to pay for extra police patrols.

Following talks with officers from Cleveland Police’s integrated neighbourhood team (INT) which covers the Skippers Lane area, in Middlesbrough, the property management company for Cleveland Retail Park, Hammerson plc, offered the cash to pay for a three-month trial period.

Insp Guy Hall of the INT said: “A force-wide campaign against shoplifting was launched earlier this year, but unfortunately we had been seeing an increase in crime and antisocial behaviour in this particular retail park.

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“As we were approaching one of the busiest times of the year for retailers, we decided to take decisive crime prevention action with the help of the retail park managers at Skippers Lane.

"We should all benefit from this collaboration in terms of reassuring the public with more officers present and visible on the ground - and fewer instances of shoplifting and ASB.”

Collin Farrow, assistant director of Retail Parks at Hammerson plc said: “This is a great opportunity for the community, police and retailers to work together to reduce crime. We are delighted to be able to provide funding and support this important initiative.”