A WAR is being waged on shoplifters as police launch a year-long blitz.
Operation Centurian will see patrols stepped up in and around shopping areas across Washington as part of a targeted campaign aimed at keeping shoplifters off the streets.
The extra police officers and community support officers (CSOs) will be on patrol throughout The Galleries shopping centre and Front Street in Concord.
They will be hitting the shops at different times and different days throughout the year to stop shoplifters in their tracks.
Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Lee Butler, who covers the area, said: “This operation will run throughout the year and is aimed at disrupting shoplifters in The Galleries and Concord Front Street to reduce the number of offences.
“Teams of extra officers will be on patrol on targeted days to act as a deterrent to thieves and arrest anyone committing a crime.”
Police are asking shoppers to remain vigilant and report any shoplifters to the police.
Insp Butler added: “People might think shoplifting is a petty crime but it can have a devastating effect on someone’s livelihood, particularly smaller retailers, not only that it can make people feel more fearful of other types of crime.
“On the targeted days there will be a noticeable increase in the number of police officers and CSOs on patrol throughout the shopping centre leaving nowhere for thieves to hide.”
To report an offence, phone 101 ex 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.