OVER the last 12 weeks, Northumbria Police has reported it has solved 30 per cent of shoplifting cases. 

Northumbria Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Jayne Meir told councillors from across the region at Gateshead Civic Centre last week, that in the previous 12 weeks, the force had solved 30 per cent of shoplifting incidents.

DCC Meir went on to say that a 30 per cent rate is “where we should be as a force” and the key to tackling the issue lies in working with the business community to prevent it. 

Deputy Chief Constable Jayne Meir said: “In the last 12 weeks for example, 30 per cent of our shoplifting crimes have been solved, which is still not enough but it’s a lot better than where we were a few months ago”. 

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This comes after the Northumbria Police received criticism over its shoplifting response from North Tyneside councillor Cath Davis last November.

The independent councillor for Preston told those present at a full council meeting she had witnessed a group of thieves take a large box of larger from a shop and that staff were “afraid” to intervene. 

Cllr Davis later claimed that “disappointed” shopkeepers were told that police would only attend such cases where more than £200 of goods were stolen. This prompted Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine to state at the time that the force’s previous response to shoplifting was “nowhere near where it needed to be” and promised a new clamp down. 

Last week, DCC Meir told councillors: “Shoplifting is an area where you should be able to solve a high number of them, you’ve often got CCTV and often you’ve got someone arrested. What we have to work through is whether it’s what we want all of our officers to spend all their time on. 

“The key to shoplifting is prevention and working with businesses to prevent crime.

“If I’m honest with you, if I maintain the 30 per cent outcome rate for shoplifting I probably think we are where we should be as a force. That might be an uncomfortable discussion for businesses but my aim would be to reduce the amount of shoplifting we have got. 

“What we do at the moment is arrest and charge people who we know are regular offenders and are causing the most harm. Because of how long it takes to make a case file and take it to court and all those things, my whole force would spend all its time on shoplifting if I was wanting to increase that significantly.”