Festive shoplifters warned

Police in Cleveland have taken part in a festive campaign led by the North East Retail Crime Partnership (NERCP) to tackle shoplifters across the North East region.

The NERCP has worked alongside participating forces to identify the top 100 suspected shoplifters operating in the region and is sending them a festive message.

Sarah Dougherty from the NERCP said “We’re running this initiative in partnership with North East retailers and participating police forces Cleveland, Durham and North Yorkshire in a bid to tackle the displacement of retail crime throughout the North East region.

There is some excellent work being done by many local areas to reduce the opportunity for thieves to steal from local stores, but in many cases resulting in offenders being displaced to more vulnerable areas. The message being sent out in the Christmas cards is clear and simple; the partnership operates throughout the North East and will be tracking criminal activity around the region, leaving nowhere to hide.”

Sarah added: “The result of retailers and police working in partnership with each other consistently throughout the region, increases confidence and collaboration between the two, ultimately reducing crime and disorder.”

Detective Chief Inspector Jason Dickson from Cleveland Police said: “Our message is clear, if you are caught shoplifting you will be dealt with and put before the courts. This campaign serves as a warning to criminals to think seriously as to whether they want to spend the festive season in a police cell.

“This regional work runs parallel with targeted work in the Cleveland area to protect businesses and the economy from the impact of shoplifting – it is definitely not a victimless crime.”