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    West Midlands Police crack down on shoplifting with seven arrests across Black Country

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    West Midlands Police on Sunday arrested seven individuals for offences related to shoplifting across the Black Country.

    The arrests come amidst a troubling spike in shoplifting nationwide, with thefts from shops surging by 32 per cent in the year to September 2023.

    The people in custody include:

    – A 38-year-old man, detained for stabbing a security guard with a needle at a superstore in Tipton, following an attempt to steal alcohol.

    – A 42-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman, taken into custody after brandishing a knife at staff in a shoe shop in Walsall town center when confronted over the non-payment of a pair of trainers.

    – Another man, who assaulted shop staff at a convenience store in West Bromwich on 9 April when challenged for taking meat without payment. He was subsequently apprehended at his residence.

    – A 30-year-old woman, caught on CCTV attempting to abscond without payment at a store in Walsall. She was found to be wanted for failing to attend a mandatory drug test.

    – Additionally, a 60-year-old woman suspected of stealing £300 worth of cosmetics in Tipton and a 42-year-old man apprehended in Birmingham for concealing bedding before leaving a store in Wolverhampton.

    The crackdown on shoplifting comes as the government announced new legislation aimed at curbing such offenses.

    The proposed legislation seeks to make assaulting shop staff a specific criminal offense, punishable by imprisonment of up to six months, unlimited fines, and bans from returning to the scene of the crime. Violation of the criminal behavior order (CBO), which restricts offenders from visiting specific premises, could result in five years’ imprisonment.

    “We fully understand the impact and frustration of shoplifting on businesses of all sizes, it’s a crime which can affect livelihoods,” West Midlands Police said in a statement.

     “As part of our more local policing model our teams across investigations, neighbourhood and response are now working closer together to prevent and tackle crimes which impact on our communities.”

    High-visibility patrols in retail areas, coupled with proactive engagement with store security, are integral components of their strategy to deter and apprehend offenders, they added.  

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