A CRACKDOWN on Sunderland shoplifters is continuing and special constables are being drafted in to help out.
Extra patrols are taking place in the city centre and retail areas as part of Northumbria Police force’s Operation Soundwave.
Known thieves will be stopped and spoken to and warned there is no hiding place.
Anyone who is arrested for shop theft will, if appropriate, be given bail conditions banning them from the city centre and retail areas.
Over the past three months, there have been almost 200 thefts from shops across Sunderland’s retail areas and supermarkets.
City Centre Neighbourhood Sergeant Lisa Laverick said: “We’re flooding Sunderland city centre and retail areas with officers, and special constables are playing a key role in these extra patrols.
“This operation is about providing a visible policing presence in and around retail outlets to not only prevent and deter offences taking place, but also reassure members of the public that Sunderland is a safe and vibrant place to shop and socialise.
“Much of shoplifting is largely opportunist and we’re keen to get the message out to people that a split second bad decision to steal could ultimately result in them being arrested and receiving a criminal record, impacting on the rest of their lives. It’s just not worth it.”