SOUTHERN Co-operatives has received national recognition twice in one week for its pioneering work in developing partnership solutions to anti-social behaviour problems.
The society was first recognised as the retailer who had applied the most innovative approach in support of Convenience Store magazine's Zero Tolerance Campaign.
When presenting the award Helen Murray of the Home Office made particular mention of Southern Co-op's partnership approach, which she heralded as an example of best practice.
Last week Southern Co-ops and its partners (TM Security, Hampshire Constabulary, Storewatch and Portsmouth City Council) also scooped the Security Excellence Award for Partnership Initiative.
Home Secretary David Blunkett described the awards as recognition of the rising levels of professionalism and skills. He said: "You will see individuals and companies chosen for their outstanding contributions, not only to the industry, but to us all in helping fight crime and the fear of crime."
In announcing the winning partnership, the judges said: "This project is an example of the move away from traditional client-contractor relationships to an ethic that involves the police in a genuine partnership approach."
Geoff Wade, Co-operative Relations Manager for Southern Co-operatives, who collected the award said: "The power of working co-operatively in these types of partnerships is well known to us and our staff who have witnessed the benefits.
"This partnership approach resulted in the issuing of the UK's first Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO). It is very pleasing to our partners and ourselves that our work has now been recognised both at Government level and through these industry awards."