'Lift it and we will lift you' police warn as they launch new drive to tackle shop thefts in Wakefield

Police are cracking down on shoplifting.
Police are cracking down on shoplifting.

Thieves operating in Wakefield have been warned they will be caught as police launch a new shoplifting drive.

The Wakefield Central Neighbourhood Policing Team said it is taking a zero-tolerance approach to shop thefts in the city centre, warning offenders 'lift it - and we'll lift you'.

Officers are encouraging businesses to report shoplifting and have said they will do all they can to deter store thieves.

Inspector Helen Brear of Wakefield Police West, which includes Wakefield Central NPT, said: “We want to do all we can as a policing team to support our local business and city centre and have been engaged with retailers and other partners for many months now.

“Shoplifting is a blight on business and far from a victimless crime and I want premises to know that we will not turn a blind eye to this sort of offence. We are monitoring known offenders."

PCSOs have been speaking to retailers to encourage them to make use of the CCTV link radio scheme and to report details of thefts.

Stores are also being encouraged to share information using the network to tip each other off about shoplifters seen operating in the area.

West Yorkshire Police said the new drive is part of a programme of support the NPT is providing to retailers in the city centre to help make it a better place to live and work.

PCSO Becki Norbury of Wakefield Central NPT, said: “We are now liaising with retailers on a daily basis and are encouraging them to be more vigilant to prevent theft while letting them know we have adopted a zero tolerance approach to offending."

The NPT said its officers also continue to patrol zones covered by Public Space Protection Orders, banning people from drinking or taking intoxicating substances, engaging in anti-social behaviour and urinating and defecating in alleyways.

Recent results include the jailing of a persistent street drinker for breaching his criminal behaviour order after he was caught drinking from an open can of lager in the Sun Lane area.

Officers are also working to support the Wakefield Business Improvement District (BID) initiative to attract investment into the city centre.

Inspector Brear said: “A positive partnership between business and police can play a significant role in making a city centre a safe and attractive place to work and live, and we want to support any initiative we can to achieve that aim.

“Enforcement of the Public Space Protection Order zones set up by Wakefield Council remains ongoing, and we are achieving results, as shown by the recent conviction and jailing of a persistent street drinker.

“We continue to focus on our hot spot areas and support efforts by Wakefield BID to regenerate parts of the city.”

Businesses who want to speak about crime prevention can contact rebecca.norbury@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk or wakefieldcpo@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

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