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Crime crackdown in shopping zones

PUBLISHED: 10:09 12 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:45 05 July 2010

Thieves and troublemakers have been warned their behaviour will not be tolerated across Waveney's towns in the run-up to Christmas.

More than 200 Lowestoft shops have now joined a scheme to issue blanket bans on persistent offenders, while police in Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Southwold have teamed up for a two-month initiative aiming to give shoppers a trouble-free Christmas.

Thieves and troublemakers have been warned their behaviour will not be tolerated across Waveney's towns in the run-up to Christmas.

More than 200 Lowestoft shops have now joined a scheme to issue blanket bans on persistent offenders, while police in Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Southwold have teamed up for a two-month initiative aiming to give shoppers a trouble-free Christmas.

The Lowestoft Exclusion Order (LEO) was revived last year and 206 shops throughout the town centre and beyond now participate in the free scheme.

People who commit three offences, such as shoplifting, antisocial behaviour and criminal damage, will be banned from all member stores for a year.

Sgt Steve Wright, of Lowestoft's Central Safer Neighbourhood Team and chairman of the LEO, said: “The police and stores will always take positive action against anyone committing crimes in and around the retail premises of Lowestoft.”

Sgt Wright added that the town's CCTV security cameras, security staff and the police would look out for banned shoppers, who could be hit with antisocial behaviour orders, civil injunctions or extensions of their bans to three years if they breach the order.

While no one is currently subject of a ban, Sgt Wright said 42 people were the subject of first or second warnings.

About 70pc of shops in Lowestoft have signed up to the LEO and police have urged others to follow suit.

Meanwhile, high visibility police patrols will take place in Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Southwold as part of a pre-Christmas campaign to clamp down on shoplifting and purse thefts.

Any shops interested in signing up to the Lowestoft exclusion order scheme can contact Sgt Wright on 01986 835300.

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