Tyne & Wear

Police arrest 165 for shop theft in Newcastle

Police have arrested 165 people for stealing from shops in Newcastle in an operation aimed at preventing theft around Christmas.

They have also spoken to more than 2,000 people - mainly known shoplifting offenders - to warn them about the ongoing operation.

The campaign started on 5 October and involves extra police officers in uniform and undercover.

CCTV cameras in the city are also being closely monitored.

'Safe city'

Northumbria Police said their research showed shoplifting was down 39% in October 2010 when compared to October 2008, and down more than 26% compared to October 2009.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Darren Graham said: "Newcastle is one of the safest cities in the country but there's always a minority who spoil it for others, and these are who we are targeting.

"Anyone who is caught shoplifting is arrested and dealt with appropriately and wherever possible we are ensuring any prolific shoplifters arrested are remanded in custody or are given bail conditions to stay out of the city centre."

He said they were working closely with retailers to make sure the operation was a success.

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