Police launch shoplifting crackdown in Ely in run up to Christmas

EXTRA police patrols will be carried out in Ely throughout December in a bid to crackdown on shoplifting.

The city usually experiences a rise in thefts from shops and stores during the festive period – officers say that last December there were 19 offences recorded in the city compared with a monthly average of four or five.

To combat the rise, dedicated patrols will be carried out by officers in the run-up to December 25.

Plain-clothed officers will also be on duty to catch anyone using the Christmas crowds to steal items from stores.

Sergeant Will Davis said: “Shoplifting is an issue in the run-up to Christmas when stores and shops get very busy.

“Thieves think they can get away with helping themselves to the stock, but we will have officers out in force as a deterrent and also to catch offenders.

“Shoplifting is not a victimless crime as it ultimately drive up prices for everyone else because companies have to replace stock and invest in security. It will not be tolerated and we will continue to target those involved in such criminality.”

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The initiative is the latest tactic in Operation Wicket – a crackdown on shoplifting in East Cambridgeshire.