More shoplifters and petty thieves could soon feel the long arm of the law.
Police have put another album of pictures of offenders’ faces on the internet for people to name and shame.
Now officers hope ‘web detectives’ can bring crooks to justice by visiting the Caught on Camera page of the South Yorkshire Police website.
The scheme was launched six months ago and has already helped nab a score of thieves.
Today The Star features an ‘unlucky 13’ of persons of interest to Doncaster police.
Of more than 100 people whose images have already featured on Caught on Camera, 20 have been successfully identified by the public – or, in some cases, by the suspects themselves.
One of them, a 41-year-old Wheatley man who took sweets from the Co-op in Woodlands, handed himself in after his face appeared on Caught on Camera.
He was given a police caution.
Another suspect, a 45-year-old Woodlands woman who stole steaks from the local Co-op, was named shortly after her face appeared in The Star. She also received a caution.
Insp Amanda Hunter, the officer in charge of Caught on Camera, said: “These are 20 offenders who we probably wouldn’t have been able to put a name to without the public’s assistance and we would urge people to continue supporting this initiative by ringing us with names.
“This has been a great opportunity for our force to make the most of the help and information we can receive from members of the public.
“Different to the usual appeals, these images can be connected with minor offences.
“Each district of the county has a separate page on the website and each picture on it has a unique reference number. We can have as many pictures as we want on for 28 days and if we trace a suspect the picture will be removed.
“These are all people we currently want to trace.
“Until now we have distributed these images internally to officers but if they don’t recognise the person it gets filed away, so instead we decided to get them into the public domain.
“We want to make sure the images are of good quality so people can ring in with a name and we can take over the inquiry.”
Modern high-quality CCTV images from shop security cameras are sharper than the fuzzy images of years ago, meaning police can be sure of a greater success rate.
Insp Hunter said they do not want people directly approaching anyone they recognise from the Caught on Camera feature.
Staff from SYP’s Crime Recording Bureau manage the system and feed back any information directly to the officer in the case.
Officers are hoping public-spirited citizens will be keen to pass on information to the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111, quoting the reference number above the CCTV image on the website.