Retail Crimewatch is a crime reduction initiative managed jointly by the Police and Belfast City Centre Management. It is a UK-leading example of partnership-working between police and the retail sector.
The scheme creates a network of retailers across Northern Ireland who share information about retail crime and prolific shoplifters.
Retail Crimewatch takes a very practical approach to dealing with shoplifting. Each month retailers who are members of the scheme receive police images of individuals who have convictions for shoplifting.
The Retail Crimewatch sign indicates that the shop is a member and is in possession of shoplifter images. This deters offenders before they even enter the store.
Anyone committing or attempting a theft or fraud within a member store, will be excluded from that store for a period of 12 months. They will also be banned from all retail Crimewatch member premises.
If the offender still enters the premises, they will be doing so as a trespasser. This means that if they commit a theft they will be subject to prosecution for burglary instead of theft, facing higher penalties in sentencing.
Retail Crimewatch is the only business crime partnership in the UK successfully pursuing burglary, rather than theft, convictions for prolific offenders.
Since February 2018 the scheme has seen 120 successful burglary convictions resulting in 61 custodial sentences.
Retail Crimewatch currently has members across Northern Ireland.
The scheme empowers retailers to identify, challenge and ultimately exclude prolific offenders from their stores. Through the Exclusion Order process and by working alongside your local police, it reduces crime and anti-social behaviour. Ultimately, it increases profitability by reducing stock and financial loss.