Police have shoplifters in their sights

Police have shoplifters in their sights

ACT Policing will work with retailers and shopping centre security to put shoplifters firmly on the radar this festive season.

While shoplifting has been trending down throughout 2020, ACT Policing’s Territory Targeting Team will be keeping an eye out for any grinches trying to steal this Christmas.

Officer in Charge of City Station Detective Inspector Adrian Craft said it wasn’t uncommon to see a spike in theft as a frenzy of last minute shoppers head out in the lead up to Christmas.

“It’s been an extremely difficult year for many businesses, particularly Canberra’s retailers who are so reliant on in-person trade,” Detective Inspector Craft said.

“Christmas is a time when we tend to see a much needed increase in foot traffic through shopping centres however shoplifters can also use this time to mask their activity.

“Police will be running a targeted operation this festive season in cooperation with retail operators and security to catch shop lifters who can face 12 month bans as well as criminal charges for theft.

“Frustratingly for police and retailers, many of those caught shoplifting are employed and have the means to pay for the items stolen, but choose not to.

“I ask those people to consider how a criminal charge would affect your current and future employment because ACT Policing will continue to work closely with businesses and security and intend to apprehend those responsible.”

This year has seen shoplifting apprehensions fall by roughly a quarter when compared with 2019.  A total of 148 people have been caught so far in 2020 compared with 196 people last year.

ACT Policing provides a free service to local businesses, offering information on how to protect your business from crime. To speak to one of our ACT Policing Business Liaison Officers, contact (02) 6256 7777.

If you witness theft or any activity related to shoplifting you should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website. Information can be provided anonymously.

Media enquiries

Police Media — (02) 5126 9070, act-police-media@afp.gov.au