Police want to make Tonbridge a ‘no-go’ zone for shoplifters and are calling on shops to sign up to the town’s ‘shopsafe’ scheme in a bid to fight persistent thieves.
They have also launched a dedicated operation to tackle shoplifting by carrying out extra patrols in the town centre.
.which instantly notifies everyone on the radio network and the police of suspected shoplifters attending storesSome stores, including Sainsbury’s, have already signed up for the scheme,
Insp John Phillips from Kent Police said: "I would urge other businesses in the town to join the ‘shopsafe’ scheme, as it will mean Tonbridge becomes a no-go area for shoplifters, as more of the town centre shops sign up.
"We are taking our own steps to tackle this issue by carrying out additional patrols in the town centre, which will be both plain-clothed and in uniform. Furthermore, we can help enforce banning orders given out to persistent shoplifters, which forbid these individuals entering any of the shops signed up to the ‘shopsafe’ scheme."
Any shoplifters ignoring the bans, the consequences can be severe, as they are then considered as trespassers and could face charges of burglary rather than theft, which tend to attract higher penalties in court."
To join the 'shopsafe' scheme, which so far has 40 businesses signed up, call 01732 876024.