Norwich city centre shoplifting crackdown

Peter WalshA new initiative launched to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre has been hailed a success by business by city centre managers.Peter Walsh

A new initiative launched to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre has been hailed a success by business by city centre managers.

As previously reported, the ALERT initiative was launched in the city in December last year by the Norwich City Centre Partnership (CCP) in a bid to help businesses clamp down on shoplifters and troublemakers.

As part of the scheme participating businesses have access to a digital radio system linked to Norwich's CCTV grid allowing instant 24/ 7 communication between premises CCTV and police.

Incidents and offenders can be followed from venue to venue and images can be captured and used as evidence which can be passed to police.

Stefan Gurney, CCP manager said since the scheme was launched almost 50 members have signed up to the scheme which is being extended to the night-time economy too.

He said: 'We see ALERT as having a very positive impact on retail crime in the city centre and are just working with the night-time economy bars and restaurants to roll it out into the evening as well.

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'We're looking forward to it being even more effective and having further coverage throughout the city for 24 hours a day.'

Current businesses involved in the scheme include John Lewis, Jarrold, Marks & Spencer, and Debenhams but Mr Gurney hopes to get even more stores on board in the coming months.

He said: 'We're close to 50 at the moment and there's the potential, with the night-time economy coming on board, to push that towards 100.

'In terms of businesses in the city centre there's the potential for a lot more growth with more than 180 pubs and hundreds of businesses in the city centre. We would encourage anyone who wanted to be involved to get in touch so they can appreciate the positive impact that this scheme can have.'

This ALERT system allows fast and secure information sharing and incident reporting and is an effective way of communicating with businesses, retailers and the night time economy to minimize the risk of crime.

It is open to any daytime or night time business in greater Norwich from small businesses to large multinationals and shopping centres as well as all licensed premises.

To find out more about the scheme go to

Are you doing anything to cut crime and antisocial behaviour in the area where you live? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email

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