Businesses watch out for crooks

AN online initiative is helping police keep crime at bay at Benton’s North Tyne Industrial Estate.

So far, 35 businesses on the estate have signed up for the police’s virtual industrial estate watch scheme.

It allows them to benefit from a neighbourhood watch scheme without having to leave their workplaces to attend meetings.

Members receive regular e-mail updates from their neighbourhood policing team about any suspicious activity nearby.

The idea for the scheme, the first of its kind in the borough, came from community support officer Tim Cousins after he was impressed by the success of similar initiatives run in residential areas.

CSO Cousins, a beat officer for Benton and Longbenton, said: “Officers are sending out information to scheme members with crime prevention advice, as well as crime alerts about current incidents happening on their industrial estate.

“The North Tyne Industrial Estate has always had low levels of reported crime and disorder, and we want to work with all the estate community to help maintain and improve this.

“We aim to expand the scheme to include other areas over the coming months.”

Businesses on the Benton Square or Bellway industrial estates wanting to join up can e-mail the police at