New action to help town centre criminals away from crime
Police are drawing up a list of Doncaster's most prolific shoplifters as part of a wider scheme to curb crime and antisocial behaviour in the town centre.
The plans is intended help both the victims and the offenders themselves by offering help to the perpetrators to help guide them away from the lifestyle that is leading them to crime, as part of a new approach to tackling wider town centre crime.
Officers say they know who the people are who are carrying out the largest volume of thefts from the stores in the town centre, and will be sharing details with retail outlets to both make them aware and to 'target harden' them - making it more difficult for the thieves to take things.
But police police will also be working with the offenders to try to help them move away from crime and sort out their lives as part of a wider operation that they are running with other organisations to cut town centre crime.
Det Chief Inspector Paul Wilson, said:: "We are trialling a new approach, with partners to manage down the offending of the current highest volume offenders.
"It is about reducing the cycle of offending, and trying to provide assistance to those who are offending, with targeted support around issues such as employment, housing and benefits.
"We're working with South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company Ltd, which looks at low risk high volume offenders.
"We have proactively been patrolling the town centre jointly with staff from DMBC and CRC , dealing with anti-social behaviour and conducting stop and search where appropriate.
He said a number of those people with complex issues who were visible in the town centre were also involved in retail crime.
He added: "We want to reduce all types of offending behaviour , but we also want to break the repeat cycle of offending by a number of offenders.
"This will mean less incidences of the visibility of drugs misuse, less related anti-social behaviour, less retail crime and as importantly, an improved quality of life for some of the current offenders because we can help those involved to better manage their complex needs and manage their lives effectively without resorting to criminal offending."
It is the latest move in a wider bid by official agencies to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre. Police, Doncaster Council and health officials have been working together, and a Doncaster town centre Public Space Protection Order was created, giving special powers to police to take action over individuals who act in a certain way.
Town centre retailers recently raised concerns that that they felt levels of antisocial behaviour were on the rise again after initially falling after the introduction of the new order.