28 arrested for shoplifting in police initiative

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Police carrying out a force-wide campaign on shoplifting have arrested almost 350 people – including 28 in Northumberland.

The Northumbria Police crackdown was launched at the end of November.

The force said the operation has resulted in a reduction in shoplifting offences compared to the weeks preceding the launch, while the detection rate stands at almost 80 per cent – meaning four out of every five offences are detected.

Northumbria Police Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Gary Calvert said: “The operation has so far been successful with hundreds of arrests and a reduction in offences across the force.

“The aim was to reduce shop thefts during a time when our towns and cities are crowded with Christmas shoppers and when shop thefts historically rise, and we’ve so far seen positive results.

“The activity will continue into January as the sales continue.”

Activity has also included extra high profile and plain clothes patrols to prevent thefts from taking place.

Officers have also been working with retailers and shop security staff, and using CCTV and Shopwatch schemes to identify suspects and take action.

Known offenders have been pro-actively targeted throughout and warned about the operation, and anyone arrested has, where appropriate, been given bail conditions preventing them from entering town and city centres.

Elesewhere, in Newcastle there were 118 arrests, Sunderland clocked up 66, and in North Tyneside there were 45.