Scheme aims to link 400 off-licences

20 August, 2008

Northumbria police are hoping to persuade all 400 off-licences in the county to join a new Offwatch scheme – similar to the Pubwatch groups which operate in the on-trade.

Licensing coordinator Steve Cochrane said there had been strong interest in the scheme so far.

“We’ve launched in Prudhoe and moved across to Alnwick and Amble and more recently Berwick,” he told OLN. “There’s been tremendous interest, about 95%, and not one store has said they’re not interested.”

Cochrane said the scheme was still in its infancy and would be run by the retailers themselves, rather than the police. “It’s about sharing best practice and trying to share intelligence about the people causing problems – getting people together to discuss the issues,” he said.

Stores will be supplied with posters to advertise their involvement in the scheme and police officers will offer crime prevention advice.

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