1:28pm Friday 24th January 2014
BLACKWOOD town centre saw a 40 per cent drop in shoplifting incidents over Christmas, figures show.
Only 22 incidents were reported between November and December 2013, compared with 31 incidents in the same period in 2012, according to Gwent Police.
The fall is considered to be the result of a huge crackdown in the centre which saw Gwent Police, Blackwood Retail Partnership and Caerphilly council’s team of CCTV operators, working on a joint operation to tackle this type of crime.
Over four weeks, 140 £30 fixed penalty notices were issued to motorists for parking illegally in the centre. Officers patrolled in uniform and plain clothes to deter shoplifting and worked with security staff, store detectives in and around Blackwood, and CCTV operators.
Over 25 businesses are part of the Blackwood Retail Partnership, which contributed to the reduction in crime by improving the information shared between shops, the police and the council.
Mark Smith, Blackwood Inspector, said: “For the third consecutive year, Blackwood town centre has benefited from a reduction in shoplifting offences which is as a direct result of our effective partnership working.”
David Poole, Caerphilly council’s cabinet member for community and leisure services, said: “We are sending out a clear message to anyone who feels it is acceptable to shoplift that they will not get away with it.”
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