SHOPLIFTERS beware - police in South Yorkshire are stepping up efforts to catch thieves following a sharp rise in reports of the crime.
Figures have revealed the number of shoplifting offences is up by around 10 per cent on this time last year. During February, there were 859 incidents compared with 851 in the same month in 2012.
As part of the new crackdown officers have released CCTV images of suspected offenders to the public. They also plan to run crime reduction stalls in shops and businesses across the area using police community support officers.
It is hoped the blitz will mimic the force’s success in Barnsley, where the number of offences recorded last month was 126, down 10 on the figure for January.
Chief Inspector Gwyn Thomas, South Yorkshire Police’s lead for retail crime said: “Police in Barnsley are not taking any chances and want to make sure this shoplifting continues to fall. Crime reduction officers continue to work closely with shops and businesses, providing guidance about security at their premises.
“Officers will be targeting offenders who are wanted for shoplifting offences.”
This latest effort follows on from a series of raids carried out at homes last August in a special day of action, organised after 3,158 reports of shoplifting between April and July that year. Over a third were in Sheffield.
The gallery of suspects has been released as part of investigations into alleged shoplifting offences which took place in Barnsley.
Anyone with information can call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.