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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

Police tackle shoplifting and antisocial behaviour in Plymouth City Centre

In a bid to crack down on crime in Plymouth city centre, police officers are carrying out increased high-visibility patrol operations in partnership with other agencies.

The operation follows an increase in reports of shoplifting and anti-social behaviour including street drinking.

“These crimes are having a detrimental effect on local businesses and communities,” said Police Sergeant Tom Crabb, team leader for neighbourhood officers in Plymouth City Centre, “they have a far-reaching impact on the livelihoods and wellbeing of our communities. We want to reassure the public and our communities that we take these crimes seriously and our teams work extremely hard to apprehend individuals who shoplift.”

To tackle the issue of shoplifting, officers teamed up with Plymouth Against Retail Crime (PARC) and Trading Standards to carry out high visibility foot patrols in high footfall areas around the town centre.

The PARC team work closely within the city centre. They aim to create a safe secure retail environment for all businesses and customers by working closely with retailers to prevent and address retail crime incidents - they have supported with banning over 200 prolific shoplifters and/people from the area, who have committed anti-social behaviour.

PS Crabb added: “An important part of the operation was to engage with local businesses and members of the public. Officers visited shops in the area to speak with retailers to understand the issues affecting them. It resulted in numerous reports of intelligence relating to shoplifting suspects and individuals with links to drugs – these reports are being looked into and investigations are ongoing.”
While on patrol, a person reported as missing was found safe by police officers. A vehicle which had been reported stolen that day was located within two hours of the report and safely returned to its owner without any damage. Several stop searches were also completed on individuals suspected of carrying drugs and shoplifting, this led to the seizure of suspected stolen items of clothing - an investigation is currently underway.

Officers also spoke with a number of people who are homeless, making sure they had relevant details of support services who could provide safeguarding and support.

“It’s important to us that we liaise with all our community members, including those most vulnerable, and signpost them to services who can help them.” said PS Crabb.
Inspector James Drake, who oversees neighbourhood officers in the city centre said: “The activity that took place forms part of our ‘safer business action’ activity. This isn’t a ‘one-off’ for our teams, this work continues to take place throughout the year - the purpose is to highlight the work our police officers are doing to tackle shoplifting and anti-social-behaviour.
“Our officers will continue to conduct regular patrols throughout Plymouth, both in uniform and in plain-clothes, to target those looking to offend. As a message to individuals looking to commit crime in Plymouth, our officers will be doing all that they can to identify and arrest you.”
“I would like to encourage the public and businesses to continue reporting any criminal activity. By doing this, it helps us to build an accurate picture of the crimes happening in our communities and allows us to build a strategic policing approach to target crimes effectively to keep our community safe.
“As always, if you see our officers, please do say hello – it’s great to meet the people we are here to protect”.

Information we receive from members of the public is vital and it helps us keep Plymouth a safe city. If you are aware of anyone actively involved in shoplifting, you can report anonymously to Crimestoppers on Tel 0800 555 111.

This news story has been produced by Chesil Radio's News Team, for more information please visit:

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