Neighbourhood Officers in Hartlepool conducted retail crime patrols across the town last week.
As Christmas shoppers begin the annual dash for the perfect gift, officers provided a reassuring, visible presence and engaged with store staff in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, retail parks and stores across Hartlepool.
Retail crime prevention patrols are carried out regularly in the town and are aimed to tackle the issue of theft from stores and abusive behaviour towards shop workers.
Chief Inspector Pete Littlewood, Cleveland Police's operational lead on retail crime said: "Neighbourhood teams work closely with retailers, encouraging them to report crime when it happens, offering crime prevention advice, and ensuring that we have a clear picture of what is happening through the offer of retail crime forums.
"The officers regularly patrol shopping centres, retails parks and stores to target retail crime, with high visibility patrols and engagement activity with both retailers and shoppers.
“Officers also visit stores on a regular basis to discuss any issues with staff and to offer crime prevention advice, such as moving expensive products away from shop entrances and exits.
"Cleveland’s charge and detection rate for shoplifting is above the national average, with 23.1% of reports ending in a charge or summons to court, compared with 15% nationally. Whilst much work remains to be done in dealing with the issue of retail crime, those figures are testament to the work Cleveland Police officers do. They work extremely hard to tackle the problem and, despite the huge volume of offences they deal with, manage to achieve some fantastic results.”