Shoplifters being driven out of St Albans

PUBLISHED: 08:01 08 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:24 06 May 2010

SHOPLIFTING is down by 30 per cent in the district thanks to a joint initiative between police and local businesses. St Albans Business Against Crime (SABAC) involves businesses across the district directly informing police of any incidents through a 24-h

SHOPLIFTING is down by 30 per cent in the district thanks to a joint initiative between police and local businesses.

St Albans Business Against Crime (SABAC) involves businesses across the district directly informing police of any incidents through a 24-hour radio system.

Stores and businesses are also linked up to a CCTV control room and local police officers are able to identify and arrest culprits. The most persistent shoplifters are banned from all businesses and retail premises involved in SABAC.

The action has contributed to a big drop in such crimes in the city compared to last year, making St Albans one of the top performing districts in tackling shoplifting in the county. It comes second to Rickmansworth, which has a far smaller shopping area.

SABAC business crime manager, Linda Hanson, said: "This is particularly significant for St Albans due to the size and style of shopping facilities and numbers of visitors compared to similar sized or smaller areas.

"It may be seen as victimless crime but shoplifting is a criminal offence and it is shoppers who are affected - in increased prices of goods."

Neighbourhood Sergeant Jamie Bartlett said many shoplifters had been driven away from St Albans. He added: "We also carry out a number of regular high visibility and plain-clothed operations to catch shoplifters as well as purse and handbag thieves.

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