Cleveland Police Detection Rate for Shoplifting Higher than the National Average
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Cleveland Police are charging more shoplifters than the national average.
Despite dealing with a huge volume of shoplifting offences across Teesside, Cleveland Police officers manage to achieve some great results.
In the first financial quarter of this year, 23.1% of reports received in Cleveland for shop theft ended in a charge or summons to court, compared to the national figure of 15%.
Last week, officers across the force were joined by journalist Saskia Rowland from The Sunday Mirror, who spent 24 hours with our officers to report on the impact shoplifting has on shops and businesses in town centres and retail parks across Teesside, and the effect this has on our communities.
Saskia joined officers in Eston on Monday 16th October and in Middlesbrough on Tuesday 17th October as they went out to arrest prolific shoplifters, before joining the teams on patrol as they liaised with local businesses and spoke with shop staff about their experience.
Pic: PC Chris Green, Sgt Dani Gibson, Sunday Mirror journalist Saskia Rowland, PC Ambreen Hussain and PC Chris Swales patrolling Middlesbrough town centre.
During the arrest attempts, officers arrested 20-year-old Jason Galloway from Eston, who was charged and later sentenced to 16 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to two thefts of meat and breach of a community behaviour order.
A 44-year-old man was arrested in Middlesbrough on suspicion of theft of laundry products worth £58 from One Beyond in the town centre. He was later charged with theft, to appear at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on 2nd November.
Pic: Man arrested in Middlesbrough
Elsewhere across the force officers conducted high visibility patrols in Stockton town centre, whilst officers arrested all five of those wanted for shoplifting in Stockton district.
Officers set up pop-up stalls in supermarkets and local convenience stores to engage with store workers and shoppers, offering crime prevention advice and listening to concerns.
One prolific shoplifter was arrested in Stockton in connection with eighteen thefts from shops with a total value of £1,118. The 33-year-old man was charged with theft and appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 19th October.
Another, Sam Watson, began a 40-week-sentence after appearing in court for a string of thefts in Hardwick, Roseworth and Norton, stealing goods worth more than £1,500.
Pic: PC Ambreen Hussain talking to a shopper in Hill Street shopping centre.
Chief Inspector Pete Littlewood, Cleveland Police's operational lead on retail crime said: "With our town centres, retail parks, supermarkets and particularly local convenience stores suffering from an increase in people stealing from their stores, the force is proactive in its approach to preventing, reducing and catching those who regularly steal from shops.
"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.
"Efforts are also made to arrest the top five shoplifters each week, and officers regularly carry out problem solving work to prevent reoffending by making applications for Criminal Behaviour Orders. The Neighbourhood Teams take part in regular weeks of action to target retail crime, with a visible policing presence in shopping centres and engagement activity with both retailers and shoppers.
“Store owners and staff are expected to make reasonable steps to protect their own staff and stock, and are actively encouraged to train all staff to operate CCTV, to respond to investigative requests from officers, encourage staff to provide witness statements, take advice from the force’s Crime Prevention Officers with regards to store layout and stock placement such as moving high value product displays away from shop entrances and exit points, and to contribute to Retail Crime Forums.
“Neighbourhood officers spend a great deal of time going out to arrest those responsible and applying for criminal behaviour orders to prohibit those convicted of shoplifting offences from entering certain shops or shopping areas. If these orders are broken, we can make an arrest for breach of the order.
“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.
"All reports of shoplifting reported to Cleveland Police are recorded so that our statistics provide a full and frank picture of the scale of the problem across the force area. Where there are solvability factors such as a named suspect, CCTV evidence, witnesses or other reasonable lines of enquiry, then the report will be investigated.
"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.”
Pic: PC Chris Green and Sergeant Dani Gibson in Middlesbrough town centre.