Second-hand shops which refuse to sign up to a new ‘code of conduct’ are to be targeted by police in a bid to stop the trade of stolen goods.
The new code has been drawn up by South Yorkshire Police and traders agree to log the details of all those they buy goods from – and ask for proof of the seller’s identity.
Those who refuse to sign up to the new code have been warned they will be regularly visited by police officers looking for stolen goods.
Their records will be analysed and stock checked.
Inspector Jason Booth, of South Yorkshire Police, who launched the scheme yesterday, said: “The idea is to make it more difficult for people who steal items to sell on the stolen goods.
“We are working in partnership with Sheffield Council’s licensing team, who are responsible for licences for second-hand shops, and we are getting most businesses on board – the response has been positive.
“Those who refuse to sign up to the code we will look at more closely. If you are keeping records, including photographic ID and addresses of sellers, and are operating your business ethically you have nothing to fear – but we will be targeting those who don’t want to sign up.”
He said police officers had been cracking down on burglars across the city after an increase in offences and the code of conduct formed part of that work.
He said: “There has been an increase in the number of second hand shops and this code is aimed at removing outlets for people to sell on stolen goods.
“People can play their part too by registering their valuables on the Immobilise website as well as using a UV pen to record their postcode and house number.
“There is nothing more frustrating than finding suspected stolen goods but having to hand them back to people you know they don’t belong to because you have no way of proving that. We don’t want people to profit from burglaries.”
n Anyone with information on those buying and selling stolen goods can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.