THIEVES are being warned they will be barred from town and city centres as a crackdown on shoplifting continues.
Those arrested for theft will – where appropriate – be given bail conditions banning them from going back into shopping areas where the crime was committed.
The activity is part of a shoplifting crackdown as part of Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave – aimed at stopping sneak thieves.
Extra teams of uniform officers are patrolling city and town centres, and busy shopping areas, working with shop security staff and using CCTV to prevent offences from taking place.
Officers are also stopping and speaking with known thieves to warn them about the activity.
Northumbria Police Superintendent Alan Veitch said: “Our message to thieves is clear – we are out in force in towns, cities and shopping areas across the force and we will not tolerate stealing.
“If thieves are going to come into busy towns and cities to steal, impacting on shops across the force, then we’ll do everything we can to ensure they aren’t allowed back into the area at any time of day or night. “People should think twice before they commit crime knowing the impact it will have on retailers, communities and on themselves.
“The Metro Unit and Motor Patrols officers are stopping known criminals from travelling on the Metro and road network and with more than 80 per cent of all offences detected there is nowhere for thieves to hide.”