POLICE are vowing to kick shoplifters out of the city in a crackdown on the crime.
Officers from the Sunderland Central Neighbourhood Policing Team have upped patrols around city centre shops after concerns from retailers about shoplifting.
Police are working closely with traders to improve store security and deter and target offenders.
Anyone arrested and charged with shoplifting will receive strict bail conditions banning them from the city centre and other retail parks in Sunderland.
Persistent offenders will be given exclusion notices banning them from city centre premises for up to 12 months under the Shopwatch scheme.
Compared to this time last year, shoplifting in the city centre has fallen by 19 per cent.
In January, there were 36 arrests for shoplifting and six new people excluded from the city centre by Shopwatch.
Mick Hall, Neighbourhood Inspector for the city centre, said: “Our message to thieves is simple – we’re watching you.
“We have extra patrols throughout the city centre shopping areas.
“We’re also working closely with retailers to identify thieves, offer crime prevention advice and ask them to make sure their CCTV systems are up and running correctly, as they are a vital evidence gathering tool.
“Shoplifting is no less important than any other crime and we will always do all we can identify and apprehend those responsible.”
People can contact police on 101, extension 69191.