News

City centre thieves targeted

04 Feb 2015 12:09 PM

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Extra officers are on patrol to stop city thieves in their tracks.

Newcastle Central Neighbourhood Policing Team is carrying out high profile patrols as well as undercover operations to identify thieves and make arrests.

Known thieves are being stopped and spoken to about the operation, while first time shoplifting offenders, particularly juveniles, are being warned their thoughtless actions could result in a criminal record and affect them for the rest of their lives.

Anyone arrested for shoplifting is, where possible, being given bail conditions banning them from coming back into the area where they were arrested.

And officers are using dispersal orders - which were introduced as part of the new Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), Crime and Policing Act 2014 last year - which means people believed to be causing, or likely to cause anti-social behaviour, have to leave the area for up to 48 hours.

The activity is part of Northumbria Police's Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling thieves and burglars across the force.

Neighbourhood Inspector Darren Adams said: "People may think the city centre is quieter in January but Newcastle is a city which is busy all year round.

"It's a vibrant place to be and as there's sales and deals on at the moment this draws just as many people to the area.

"Unfortunately with this comes opportunist thieves who will steal from shops and look to take advantage of people leaving property like purses and phones insecure.

"There's no let up in our activity tackle thieves in the city centre and we're using a number of tactics to keep them out of the city centre and take action where offences do take place.

"As ever it's vital shops play their part and we're working with them and their security staff to discuss crime prevention, including shop layouts and identifying suspects through Shopwatch.

"With almost 80% of shop thefts detected - four in every five - the message is clear, if you come to Newcastle to steal you will get caught."

For more crime prevention information visit http://www.northumbria.police.uk/crimeprevention, while people are urged to sign up to free property register Immobilise at www.immobilise.com.