No escape for town centre criminals

The crime-busting power of CCTV was dramatically underlined after council camera operators not only located a stolen handbag – but helped nail the suspects too!

Working under the Shopwatch umbrella, the CCTV team, police officers and security guards at the Hardshaw Centre swung into action after a shopper reported her bag stolen at 9.45am - while she was in one of the centre’s shops.

Hearing the message on the Shopwatch radio link, the CCTV operator began scouring the area with his network of town centre cameras. By 11.30am he’d found the missing bag in the Friends Garden.

By backtracking on the footage from that camera he was able to identify the two suspects as they abandoned the bag.

The hunt was on - and later that day the Hardshaw Security team helped special police constables stop and arrest the pair in Church Street..

Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Safer Communities and Youth Councillor Sue Murphy said: “This was a magnificent example of Shopwatch working at its best, with all the elements – police, council CCTV operators, security staff and 100 plus members of the Shopwatch radio network  working together to make the town a safer place.

“Special thanks must go to the eagle-eyed CCTV operator who played such a major role in the operation.”