A POLICE operation has been launched to tackle a rise in shoplifting in Bulwell — after it was discovered that many of the prolific offenders are from neighbouring Hucknall.
Patrols are being stepped up in a bid to curb those who steal from shop shelves.
Officers are working closely with town-centre stores, which have all been supplied with mobile-phone numbers for their beat bobbies. And CCTV footage is being used to identify thieves.
Bulwell’s police chief, Insp Andy Goodall, said: “Some of the thieves are travelling in from other places, including Hucknall.
“We are researching and identifying these culprits and looking at various ways of bringing them to justice.”
Insp Goodall says a key weapon is an order that can prevent offenders from entering the town centre. A breach can carry a prison-sentence of up to five years.
The shoplifting crackdown, which mirrors a similar drive in Hucknall, showcased in the Dispatch last month, was launched at the beginning of October in response to latest crime figures.
There were 38 shoplifting offences reported in Bulwell in August and 27 in September, which compares to just 18 and 11 in the corresponding months last year.
Since the crackdown started, five arrests have been made.
Insp Goodall went on to urge locals to avoid buying stolen goods and to report anything suspicious they spot in the town.
“The operation will continue to Christmas and beyond,” added Insp Goodall.
The new Tesco store in Bulwell has been blamed at a meeting of Nottinghamshire Police Authority as being a cause of increased shoplifting in the town.
The chairman of the authority, Coun Jon Collins (Lab), of Nottingham City Council, said the shop on Jennison Street was a problem and needed to sort out its security.
A spokesman for Tesco said it employs security staff at its stores and it takes shoplifting very seriously.
Insp Goodall said: “The reality is that Bulwell Tesco is a new store and has an impact on the shoplifting figures.
“But I’ve met with the management at the store and I’m relatively comfortable with the policies in place.
“We are working closely with Tesco.”