YouTube still image: Kent Police

A team of undercover and uniformed officers have worked with shops in Canterbury to arrest and deter thieves. Canterbury’s Community Safety Unit worked in and around the city targeting shoplifters on Thursday 11 April 2024.

While in the city centre, officers identified a man suspected of having stolen high-value supplements from Holland and Barrett the previous month and arrested him on suspicion of theft.

Further enquiries linked him to another offence at the same store on Tuesday 9 April and the 46-year-old was later charged with two counts of shoplifting and one count of criminal damage to a police cell and sent to court.

Later the same day, plain clothes officers in M&S Simply Food near Sturry Road saw a man appear to conceal items in his clothing. He was arrested outside and the 36-year-old has been charged with stealing a joint of meat and champagne worth £75 and transferred to court.

CCTV captures the moment three plain clothes officers arrest a suspect near Sturry Road

A further arrest came after officers identified a man who had stolen alcohol from Tesco in Gravel Walk earlier that week. Following liaison with the shop involved, the matter was dealt with by way of a community resolution, which involved the suspect writing a letter of apology and recognising the issues behind his offending. During the operation, plain clothes officers also intervened in an altercation between a man and a woman, resulting in the man being arrested on suspicion of assault.

The team also carried out 12 stop and searches, one of which resulted in the seizure of cannabis.

Protecting local businesses

Sergeant Lee Thompson, of the Canterbury Community Safety Unit said:

‘Neighbourhood officers in Canterbury are determined to bring to justice those who target local shops. Last Thursday’s action saw us speaking to stores and giving advice, using uniformed officers to prevent theft attempts, and plain clothes officers to detect offences. We will continue work of this kind to protect businesses and take thieves off the streets.’

By Ed

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