A CRACKDOWN on shoplifters in South Tyneside has led to 48 people being arrested in South Tyneside.
The campaign, targeting criminals who steal from stores, was part of Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave.
The crackdown was launched at the end of November.
Northumbria Police Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Gary Calvert said: “The operation has so far been successful, with hundreds of arrests and a reduction in offences across the force area.
“Activity has included officers working on the Metro system each day to identify suspects and prevent people from travelling to commit crime, while the mounted section have been providing extra visibility in shopping areas.
“The aim was to reduce shop thefts during a time when our towns and cities are crowded with Christmas shoppers and when shop thefts historically rise, and we’ve so far seen positive results.
“The activity will continue over the coming days and into January as the sales continue.”
Known offenders have been pro-actively targeted throughout and warned about the operation and anyone arrested has, where appropriate, been given bail conditions preventing them from entering town and city centres.
Mr Calvert added: “People sometimes view shoplifting as a victimless crime, which doesn’t have much of an impact on the community but that is certainly not the case.
“Every time something is stolen the retailer loses money and as a result, this can mean prices go up or, worse, people lose their jobs.
“Operations are continuing to ensure our towns and cities remain a safe place for people to visit.”