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Issue Date: 11/12/2013

Merseyside Police has joined forces with retail stores across the county in a crackdown on shoplifters.

The crackdown is part of a retail crime initiative, launched on 28 November, which is being carried out in the run-up to Christmas and each of the six force areas (Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool North, Liverpool South and St Helens) and is designed to provide an increased presence in the city, town centres and shopping parades throughout Merseyside.

Officers will be working with retailers and many shops have signed up to the scheme, which will see security officers at shops and stores providing a high visibility presence and they will be supported by uniform and plain clothes officers.

Detectives will also be visiting second hand dealers and officers will be talking to licensees in pubs, as sometimes those who steal goods from stores will try and offload their stolen goods to customers in pubs around the county. Officers will also be visiting persistent offenders with the probation service to reinforce the message that if they commit retail crime they will be brought to justice. Officers will also be monitoring the rail and road networks to identify known criminals, who target retail premises, and disrupt their use of the transport network.

During the initiative officers will also be handing out handbag bells to shoppers to help keep their purses and other property safe.

Chief Inspector Jenny Sims, said: “Unfortunately, in the run up to Christmas some people see our retail premises as an easy target and think it’s acceptable to walk in and take goods without paying.

“They forget that retailers provide a vital service to our communities and by stealing goods they could have a huge impact on the retailers’ ability to continue to trade, so preventing these crimes is in everyone’s interest.

She added: “Just last week a man was arrested after a shop assistant spotted a man taking goods from a shop without paying. The shop assistant followed the man and saw him go in to an address. She then called the police who attended and arrested a man after recovering a large amount of property that had been stolen from local businesses.

“In the run up to Christmas we will be providing a highly visible policing presence at shopping parades and town centres. Our officers will also be visiting pubs and second hand dealers across the county. Sometimes the offenders may try to sell stolen items to other shops or even members of the public. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you buy something that is stolen you are as culpable as the person who stole the goods and could be arrested for handling stolen goods.”

“We are keen to catch the criminals who try to sell stolen goods. Anyone with information about people involved in shoplifting or handling stolen goods should contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

The Merseyside Police media team can be contacted on 0151 777 8566. The Merseyside Police Newsline is available on 0871 873 9107.


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