Huddersfield town centre (Photo: iStock)

New crime figures from the West Yorkshire Police show sharp reduction in retail theft and assault offences in Huddersfield over Christmas.

Shop thefts recorded in the town centre in December 2019 was down by 58 percent when compared to the same month in the previous year.

The month saw just 27 incidents of shop theft. Injury assault and robbery offences also reduced by 36 percent.

The Huddersfield Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) said the results follow several months’ worth of proactive police operations to increase patrols in the town centre at key times, and to target those known to be involved in retail crime.

“We have yet again built on some fantastic partnership work over the summer and autumn working with staff from Safer Kirklees to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour,” said Insp Graham Dyson of Huddersfield NPT.

“This work formed the initial building blocks of our push to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and we have now seen some excellent reductions on crime around the Christmas period with good reductions in both retail crime and violent crime.”

(Photo: West Yorkshire Police )

The NPT over the last few months targeted known shoplifters and used its direction to leave powers to order them out of the town centre in an effort to protect retailers. Safer Kirklees and Police Community Support Officers also attended at shops and retail parks outside the town to prevent offenders from targeting out of town areas.

The police ensured sustained operations over the weekends, particularly at night, in the town centre to deter both drug supply and the potential for violent incidents taking place.

“It is clearly very good news for retailers that store theft has fallen so significantly and the corresponding falls in violent offences are also helping make the centre a safer place for shoppers and those wishing to enjoy the night time economy,” Dyson added.