Shops winning war on thieves.
New figures reveal there were 52 thefts from shops in January, the lowest total since records began five years ago. The figure for thefts in January 2006 was 110.
The drop has been attributed to the Crime Net initiative, which uses shared intelligence to cut retail crime and protect staff, customers and property.
Crime Net manager Keith Robson said: "We want to send a clear message to shoplifters targeting shops in Hartlepool, we intend to try to eradicate this type of crime and you will have nowhere to hide."
Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond, who is also chairman of Safer Hartlepool Partnership, said: "People are more likely to come to the town to do their shopping if they feel safe, so achievements such as this are a big boost for our on-going drive to attract more visitors."
Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Lang, of Cleveland Police, said: "This is more good news and reward for all of the hard work the Safer Hartlepool Partnership has put into this area. We will be working hard to maintain this progress."