West Yorkshire Police are taking steps to reduce shoplifting in one of the county’s busiest retail areas.
Officers will be out in force in Bradford city centre in the run-up to Christmas and said that they had seen results within days of starting their operation.
Last Wednesday, only hours after the initiative got underway, a 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of stealing from a store, while three youths who were also caught shoplifting were returned to their parents.
The city area neighbourhood team have issued dispersal orders to seven prolific offenders, while a further 14 people suspected of being involved or likely to commit theft from a shop were spoken to by police.
Inspector Andy Gallant, who leads the city area neighbourhood team, said: “We are pleased with the start we have made to this operation, which will hopefully send out a message to shoplifters that they are not welcome in Bradford.
“I am also really pleased at the way the retail community has supported us, and am hopeful that more shops will pledge their support as the operation continues.
“We will continue to use this combination of preventative measures and enforcement tactics to help turn those at risk of shoplifting away from crime, while using whatever legislation we can to deal with offenders.”
Initiatives to tackle thefts on the high street are often implemented in November to tackle the annual spike in offences between now and December 25th. A study by the Centre of Retail Research a couple of years ago revealed that shoplifting and fraud cost UK retailers £1billion over the Christmas period.
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