Zero crime rates at shopping centre car park prompts police award

ROCK bottom crime rates at a busy shopping centre car park have resulted in a prestigious police award to reward efforts to promote safety for its users.

Colin McCrory, manager of the Stretford Mall on Chester Road, was presented this week with a Park Mark award by Greater Manchester Police, as part of a nationwide scheme which recognises safe and secure environments for people and their vehicles.

The presentation was timely because it came at the end of a three month period where there were no reports of crime at the Stretford Mall car park.

PC Jon Darwent, of the Stretford Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “So far this quarter (1 July to 12 September), there has been no incidents of theft from a vehicle, theft of a vehicle or criminal damage to a motor vehicle at Stretford Mall. This is due to a combination of factors such as proactive police work, good surveillance systems and lighting.

He added: “We work with Stretford Mall and other partner agencies to tackle vehicle crime and make Stretford a safer place to live, work and visit.”

The Park Mark Safer Parking Scheme is an initiative of the Associations of Chief Police Officers and is aimed at reducing both crime and the fear of crime in parking facilities. Lighting, surveillance and the general management and maintenance of the car park are assessed to a required standard before the award can be issued.

Colin McCrory, Stretford Mall manager, said he was proud to accept the award and said it was part of the mall’s ongoing efforts to provide shoppers with a safe and pleasant environment.

He added: “It is very important to us that when people visit the Stretford Mall that they have somewhere secure to leave their vehicle, somewhere where they don’t have to feel worried about leaving their car or indeed returning to it after a busy day of shopping.

“Particularly as the nights start to draw in and we have the dark evenings, I hope shoppers will feel reassured that we have good lighting and good surveillance which all help deter any kind of criminal activity.”

PC Darwent also took the opportunity to give motorists some advice and said: “Motorists can also help us by following some simple advice. All cash, valuables, identification and vehicle documents should be removed from display when you leave your vehicle. Lock all windows and doors and try to park in a clear, well-lit area that is visible to other people and not obscured by trees or shrubs.”

To find out more about the Stretford Mall go to

You can report any suspicious activity by calling 0161-872-5050 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.

Pic caption: PCSO Joanne Messenger and PC Jonathan Darwent of Stretford Neighbourhood Policing Unit present Colin McCrory,  manager of Stretford Mall, with the Park Mark award.

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