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    Week of action targets retail crime across County Durham and Darlington

    Photo: Durham Constabulary

    Officers of Durham police have focussed on shoplifters and prolific offenders who target retail premises across County Durham and Darlington this week as part of a week of action to tackle retail crime.

    In Darlington, plain-clothed officers were deployed in the town centre which resulted in several prolific offenders being stopped and removed from shops they are banned from. A man was also arrested for theft, and dozens of shops and businesses visited by police community support officers.

    Two prolific offenders from the Seaham and Easington areas were handed prison sentences, while officers carried out high-visibility patrols across the area.

    In Durham, two men were arrested following an attempted burglary at JD Sports at the Arnison Centre in which a car had been driven into the front of the premises on Sunday night. Response officers arrived on scene within minutes and arrested two men aged 34 and 42. They have since been charged and will appear at Durham Crown Court on 16 April.

    Meanwhile, officers from Chester-le-Street Neighbourhood Police Team demonstrated the Digital Evidence Media System to dozens of local businesses, which allows retailers to directly upload CCTV footage for police to use in criminal investigations.

    In other parts of the county, officers focused on crime prevention and building stronger relationships with their local retail stores.

    “Retail crime is far from being a victimless crime; it hurts businesses who must grapple with higher costs and lost stock, resulting in an increase in prices for us all. That’s why weeks of action like this are important,” a Durham Constabulary spokeswoman said.

    “Here in County Durham and Darlington, we are actively hunting down offenders whose behaviour causes misery and takes profit from our local communities and retailers.

    “Business owners have all been extremely receptive to our activity throughout the week and it’s great to have that buy-in so we can all work together to make our towns safer.”

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