Officers continue to target shoplifters across region
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Officers are continuing to target shoplifters across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as part of an ongoing period of intensification which began in December 2021.
Since the end of last year, the force’s neighbourhood policing teams have been working with partners to increase visibility in retail areas and town centres in order to reduce this type of crime.
Alongside the Partnership Against Business Crime in Staffordshire (PABCIS) and Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, officers have worked to place restrictions on those known to be prolific shoplifters so as to help address their offending.
Criminal behaviour orders have been successfully distributed in Hanley town centre, while increased patrols have also taken place at retail hubs in Talke and Cannock.
These activities have seen a significant reduction in offences – with only two instances of shoplifting being reported at a retail outlet in Talke in December, and the number of instances reported in Cannock reducing by a third, in comparison to the same period the previous year.
In Stafford borough and East Staffordshire, this proactive work saw a number of shoplifters charged with multiple offences and remanded into police custody ahead of further court appearances due later this month.
Now, the force is to continue its focus on retail businesses when it holds a weekend of action, from 11 to 13 February, aimed at tackling violence against shop-workers.
Operation Blitz will see local neighbourhood officers attend retail premises across the region to offer support to business owners and staff as well as provide guidance on how best to protect themselves from violence, shoplifting and other associated criminality.
Chief Inspector Giles Parsons, who is the business crime lead for the force, said: “We have been working hard with our partners to increase our visibility in towns and retail complexes - targeting those offenders known to be involved in retail crime.
“We are looking forward to continuing this focus in the coming weeks and I would encourage anyone who would like to find out more about what they can do to protect themselves, their staff and their business from this type of crime, to get in touch with us.”
Staffordshire’s Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner, Ben Adams, added: "Supporting businesses and protecting employees is a priority for me.
"I have a regular meeting with business representatives and Staffordshire Police, led by the chairman of Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Local Enterprise Partnership, Alun Rogers.
"We get to hear about the concerns of all types of business, and monitor how well the services my office funds to support victims of business crime are performing.
"It is vital that we continue to work together to reduce retail crime and shoplifting on our high streets as part of protecting people’s livelihoods."