Shoplifting incidents top 230 mark

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More than 230 incidents of shoplifting were reported to police in Portadown in the space of 12 months until June this year.

The figures were revealed by Upper Bann MLA Sydney Anderson, who has called on businesses in the town to be cautious.

Some 553 shoplifting incidents were reported to the PSNI in the Portadown, Lurgan, Banbridge, Brownlow and Gilford areas between June 2014 and June 2015, with 233 of those in Portadown.

“It is very concerning to learn that over 550 incidents of shoplifting were reported to the PSNI in the Upper Bann,” said Mr Anderson.

“Retailers are trying to offer services to the people of the area and are trying to make a positive contribution to the economy.

“It is very frustrating to learn that petty thieves and groups have deliberately gone out into our communities intent on carrying out acts of shoplifting and have thus inflicted much pain on local businesses.”

Mr Anderson said the figures show that shoplifting in Northern Ireland has risen 10 per cent in the last three years.

“I welcome news that the PSNI are now rolling out their new Safe Shop Scheme. This scheme has been previously piloted by officers in Belfast City Centre’s Neighbourhood Policing Team and it received positive feedback.

“Ultimately, the Safe Shop Scheme is focused on educating retailers about crime prevention and it offers a useful training package which provides information on the techniques shoplifters use whilst also explaining the law around intervening and detaining someone suspected of shoplifting.

“I will be monitoring the situation closely in the coming months and I am committed to helping local businesses to thrive as they seek to combat shoplifting.”