Shoplifters facing bans from towns

Thieves are being warned they will not be allowed back in town centres as a crackdown on shoplifting continues.

Police said anyone who is arrested for theft will, where appropriate, be given bail conditions banning them from coming back into shopping areas where the crime was committed.

The activity is part of a shoplifting clampdown included in Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave – aimed at silencing opportunist criminals.

Extra uniform officers are patrolling south east Northumberland town centres and busy shopping areas, working with shop security staff and using CCTV to prevent offences from taking place.

Officers are also stopping and speaking with known thieves to warn them about the activity.

Northumbria Police Superintendent Alan Veitch said: “Our message to thieves is clear – we are out in force in towns, cities and shopping areas and we will not tolerate stealing.

“If thieves are going to come into busy towns and cities to steal, impacting on shops across the force, then we’ll do everything we can to ensure they aren’t allowed back into the area.

“People should think twice before they commit crime knowing the impact it will have on retailers, communities and on themselves.”