60 banned from town for shoplifting

Sixty people caught persistently shoplifting have been banned from shops in Ipswich town centre under a new crackdown, it emerged today.

IPSWICH: Sixty people caught persistently shoplifting have been banned from stores in Ipswich town centre under a new crackdown, it emerged today.

Ipswich Central said it had also issued 615 exclusion warnings since February 2008 to those who had committed offences, such as theft or anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

Of those, 60 people breached the terms of their warning and were issued with exclusion orders, banning them from participating stores across the town.

The majority of offences - 95 per cent - were theft-related.

The scourge of shoplifting has become more acute across the UK during the economic downturn and Ipswich has not been immune from the problem.

Ipswich Central, which represents town centre businesses, described the rise as “inevitable” in a recession.

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Clare Bagley, Ipswich Central safer businesses co-ordinator said: “It is inevitable that retail crime rises during a recession, but it is by no means acceptable.

“Of course Ipswich has not been immune to this national rise, but it does have a structure in place which many other towns do not, via strong partnership working between the police and Ipswich Central to help combat the problem.

“We have over 140 businesses using our Radiolink scheme, linking participants to the street rangers and the police. This is one of the largest Radiolink schemes in the UK. These are both really powerful tools against retail crime.”

Ipswich retail bosses have confirmed a marked rise in shoplifting over the past year with greater numbers of younger perpetrators with no previous history of the crime.

Tower Ramparts and Buttermarket shopping centres confirmed new offenders were an increasing problem.

Is crime spiralling as a result of the recession? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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