Wakefield shops get 13-page catalogue of prolific shoplifters

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A catalogue of suspected criminals is to be distributed around city centre businesses to stop prolific shoplifters.

The new 13-page guide is part of a package of new measures being introduced by Wakefield BID (Business Improvement District) and the police to continue reducing petty thefts.

The shoplifting rate is currently about 40 per cent lower in the city than it was in early 2018. Those signed up to ShopWatch - a scheme used by about 60 owners who regularly share information about shoplifters over radio waves- will receive the brochure.

Retailers who have signed up to the scheme have also agreed to put in place a new scheme to ban offenders convicted of shoplifting for 12 months from stores.

Any subsequent breach of the bans is then added to the crime the offender was charged with, potentially resulting in a more severe sentence.

Inspector Helen Brear of the Wakefield Central NPT, said: “We have been working very closely with partners at Wakefield BID to reduce shoplifting and are seeing real results in the city centre.

“It is highly encouraging to see so many businesses sign up to the shop radio networks operating in the city.

“We fully support the radio networks which helps stores protect themselves against thieves and can help share ‘here and now’ intelligence to us and local authority CCTV about shoplifters operating.”

Elizabeth Murphy, manager of Wakefield BID, said: “This work has been ongoing for some time and we are trying to find new and innovative ways of sharing information and making the best use we can of technology, such as ShopWatch 
and radios to help equip businesses with the information they need to better protect their property.

“We are continuing to work with the police on new upcoming initiatives to keep tackling crime and be very clear – criminals are not welcome in the city centre and together we will take them on.”