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Christmas shoplifting falls in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 14:19 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:44 02 July 2010

A police operation to clamp down on shoplifting in Norwich managed to cut thefts over the busy Christmas period by 5pc.

A police operation to clamp down on shoplifting in Norwich managed to cut thefts over the busy Christmas period by 5pc.

Matthew Sparkes

A police operation to clamp down on shoplifting in Norwich managed to cut thefts over the busy Christmas period by 5pc.

A police operation to clamp down on shoplifting in Norwich managed to cut thefts over the busy Christmas period by 5pc.

Operation Worship was launched by Norfolk police in the city in November to reduce the usual rise in shoplifting that occurs in the run-up to Christmas.

As part of the campaign police took a zero tolerance strategy to shoplifters and displayed 700 posters throughout the city and showed a DVD on screens in the Castle Mall warning potential thieves.

During the three months it ran, from November to January, 167 crimes were reported by retailers.

Of these 84pc were reported via the ALERT scheme run by the Norwich City Centre Partnership.

The project provides shops with radios so that they can share information on shoplifting attempts with a central command room and also gives access to a database of photographs of known shoplifters.

Stefan Gurney, manager of the Norwich city centre partnership, said that the results were impressive but that work to protect retailers needed to continue.

“The more information sharing and the more knowledge sharing there is out there the more scope there is to collaborate to reduce theft from shops,” he said.

“It's helping reduce the costs of business, which will obviously be relayed back to the customer. It also makes it a safer environment for shopping.”

“It's an ongoing piece of work to reduce theft in shops. It's one of the main city centre areas of crime, so there will probably be another one,” he said.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact Matthew Sparkes on 01603 772439 or email matthew.sparkes@archant.co.uk.

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