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Police help shopkeepers foil drinl thieves following rise in offences
12:02pm Sunday 13th October 2013 in News
A SHARP rise in the theft of alcohol in Chester-le-Street is being tackled by police.
About half of all recorded shoplifting offences in the town over the last year involve drink.
Police are now stepping up patrols and working with shop managers to thwart the thieves.
Acting Sergeant Adam Norris said: “Between June 6 2012 and June 6 2013 there were 161 recorded shoplifting crimes in Chester-le-Street.
“Forty-one per cent of these crimes relate to the theft of alcohol. When you discount stores that don’t sell alcohol, this figure rises to a staggering 57 per cent.
“Would- be thieves should know we have excellent detection rates for shoplifting. It is one of the easiest crimes to detect, you are far more likely to be caught than not”
Acting Sergeant Norris has worked closely with vulnerable premises on various measures, including moving alcohol away from doorways and putting up posters warning of improved security, including CCTV and secuity tags.
Two cardboard cutout police officers will be placed in stores to reinforce the message.
Acting Sgt Norris said: “Alcohol abuse is one of the nine ‘critical pathways’ that leads to offending so we are keen to tackle this issue head on to contribute towards reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Anyone coming into custody will be offered the chance to speak with a drug and alcohol worker independent of the Police to address any issues they may have”
The vast majority thieves are local and known to the police but images of unidentified thieves are being put on Facebook and Twitter so they can be named.
“One suspect even rang the police to tell us his new address so we could arrest him after members of his family and friends alerted him to the fact he was on Facebook!”
Anyone with information about shoplifting in Chester-le-Street should call Acting Sgt Norris on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 You can follow Chester-le-Street Police on Facebook “Chester-le-Street Neighbourhood Police Team” and Twitter “@CLS_Police and @CLSPoliceATeam.
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