Festive crime campaign hailed a success in Lowestoft

A CAMPAIGN to cut shop crime in the run-up to Christmas has been declared a success by Lowestoft police.

Additional plain clothes and uniformed police patrols were out in force in the town's main shopping areas during the busy pre-Christmas period in an effort to prevent shoplifting and thefts from shoppers.

And figures show offences were down on last year.

Between Saturday, November 27 and Friday, December 24, while the campaign was running, there were 24 thefts from shops compared to 28 crimes last year. And no purse thefts were reported during the month compared to seven last year.

Sgt Steve Wright, of the Lowestoft Central Safer Neighbourhood Team, who ran the campaign, said; 'We first ran this operation in 2008 when 42 thefts from shops were reported.

'Last year this was down to 28 offences and this year it was 24 – equivalent to a 43pc drop since 2008.

'More than 80pc of the crimes reported have been detected – for example an offender has been dealt with for a theft.

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'We are also very pleased to be able to say there have been no purse thefts reported to us during the campaign.

'But we would continue to urge shoppers to always keep a close eye on their valuables and to report any suspicious behaviour immediately.

'We would like to thank all those who have worked with us – particularly Waveney CCTV operators, store staff and security personnel – in helping to ensure Lowestoft has been a relatively safe place to come to enjoy Christmas shopping,' added Sgt Wright.

'We will continue to carry out regular patrols and deal with those suspected of theft from shops and shoppers throughout the year.'

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