Uniting to fight shoplifters in the city centre

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Shoplifters operating in the city centre will be ‘put out of business.’

The Wakefield District Neighbourhood Policing Team has warned thieves they will be at the top of their priority list after launching a new clampdown across the district.

Officers will be working closely with shops to identify and target repeat offenders during the coming weeks to make arrests.

Crime prevention officers will also be working closely with retailers to help them protect products themselves and explore funding options for improving security.

Officers will also set up a key contacts network among retailers in city and town centres to help them easily share information about persistent offenders.

Inspector Helen Brear of the Wakefield North West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Shoplifting is far from a victimless crime and can cause real harm to smaller local businesses, sometimes even threatening their ability to keep trading.

“We are aware of an increase in shoplifting in the Wakefield district during the past few months and will be working with partners in the sector to put shoplifters out of business.

“Clearly identifying those who are causing most harm will be the key so, while we obviously already monitor known offenders, and whom we have been serving city centre exclusion notices on. This is already having a positive impact.”

Insp Brear said work will be done to help rehabilitate offenders.

Steve Hunt Crime Manager at Wakefield Area Business Against Crime (WABAC), said: “I urge all businesses to support us by becoming WABAC members, joining the CCTV link radio scheme and advertising that the right security measures are in place.

“We can “deter and detect” offenders by acting together to identify offenders and improving loss prevention techniques.”