Friday 12 July 2024
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Shoplifters jailed after police crackdown in Clifton

Shoplifting fell sharply in a Nottingham district after police teamed up with local stores to catch prolific offenders.

A rise in thefts led to businesses asking neighbourhood officers to do something about the problem – and the Clifton neighbourhood policing team did not disappoint.

By working closely with local shops, a huge dossier of evidence against a number of prolific shoplifters was gathered and they all received significant prison sentences as a result.

With the offenders behind bars, shoplifting fell 34 per cent between April and July this year when compared to the same period in 2020.

Sergeant Nigel Bradley said the success was down to Operation Uncolt – launched by the Clifton neighbourhood policing team to tackle a rise in shoplifting following the opening of big-name stores such as Co-Op, Heron, Iceland, Boots, Morrisons, B&M, Wilkos and Lidl.

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Sgt Bradley said: “Some big stores have come into the area and it’s boosted the economy. However it’s also provide more opportunities for shoplifters to take advantage of.

“Eighteen months ago it had become quite a significant problem and so we launched Operation Uncolt. That saw us implement a multi-pronged approach to shoplifting which included engaging with shopkeepers and encouraging them to report shop thefts.

“We worked with the stores to ensure every offence was reported to us and CCTV made available. This was viewed, seized and offenders identified by local officers and statements completed.

“After collating as much evidence as we could, we found that a lot of offences were being committed by the same people and these suspects were arrested.

“When it came to the courts, each offender received a longer sentence because of the large number of offences we were able to prove. These sentences then acted as a deterrent to other shoplifters.”

One of the area’s most prolific shoplifters, a 31-year-old, of no fixed address, was jailed for 26 weeks in December following his conviction of 41 crimes which included stealing gift sets, food and makeup.

A second person, from Clifton, was also jailed after admitting a string of shoplifting offences and received a six-week jail sentence.

Neighbourhood Inspector Karl Thomas said: “These convictions were the result of excellent and persistent work by our local officers.

“A number of shops in Clifton were being continually targeted and their co-operation have been invaluable in collecting the evidence.

“The Clifton Police team support local businesses and respond immediately when incidents are reported to ensure we maintain a good working relationship.

“Local officers have worked tirelessly to reduce shoplifting offences. By working closely with partners and residents we have ensured prolific shoplifters are serving long prison sentences.

“This sends a message that criminal activity will not be tolerated and we will continue to work with our partners in reducing such behaviour.”

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