We're launching a new campaign to target shoplifters in an attempt to bring down the number of shoplifting incidents targeting shopping centres and high streets across multiple areas in Thames Valley.
We've designed new artwork (see left) to engage the public and make local shops less attractive to shoplifters across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Anthony Stansfeld, and local police supporting the campaign.
Thefts are not always opportunistic or carried out by individuals. Organised gangs are often involved, moving from one retail area to another. Criminals are often linked to other crimes such as burglary, robbery and even drug dealing.
Julia Hughes, Regional Manager for Crimestoppers in Thames Valley, said: “Shoplifting may be on the rise, but we can all help reduce the opportunities for theft by speaking up when we see it happening or when we suspect stolen goods are being sold on.
“If you have seen something, you can contact Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or fill in our Anonymous Online Form.”
According to The Office of National Statistics, shoplifting in England and Wales reached a 12 year high in 2015.
Shop theft is not a ‘victimless crime’. It can involve threatening behaviour and/or violence against staff and result in severe losses to retailers.
Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I am delighted to be supporting this campaign. Shoplifting is a crime that should not be ignored and we can do something to deter criminals from our local shops.”
Jayne Taylor, Problem Solving Advisor for Thames Valley Police, said: “Shops are often targeted by sophisticated, organised gangs of shoplifters who steal to order, targeting high value items such as designer products and electronics goods - and the consequences can be devastating for local businesses.
“We hope that this campaign sends a message to shoplifters that says: don’t bother targeting our shopping areas - because we are watching you.”