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29 October 2012, 16:17
Police in Watford are launching a new campaign to tackle shoplifting in the town centre.
Operation Counterguard has been launched after a slight rise in incidents in recent weeks.
As part of the operation officers will be conducting increased high visibility patrols in the town centre to act as a deterrent and respond quickly to reported incidents.
Officers will link in with Watford Business Against Crime (WBAC) – a group of retailers who link directly into the officer via a radio a system to enable close communication and sharing of information about suspicious incidents. WBAC is also able to link in directly to the town’s CCTV centres and are notified by police of any prolific offenders and suspects.
Shops in the town centre are also being given advice about measures they can take to prevent shoplifting and gathering evidence. They are being encouraged to display a poster highlighting the high number of police arrests for this crime to act as a visible deterrent.
Intervention Sergeant Rachael Robertson said: “Although shoplifting is down since April, we have recently seen a slight increase in incidents which has prompted Operation Counterguard.
“Through education, high visibility patrols and close working with Watford Business Against Crime and other stores in town, we hope to see a reduction.
“We want people to know that Watford is not an easy target. We catch the vast majority of shoplifters, so if you do choose to steal from shops then there’s a very high chance that you will be caught.
“I’d reassure our residents that all crime in Watford continues to fall and together with other agencies we will continue to make the area a safe and pleasant place to live in.”