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Police anti-shoplifting operation in Brighton brought 148 charges in 2022

A dedicated operation to catch Brighton and Hove’s most prolific shoplifters saw 11 repeat offenders brought to justice in 2022.

Over the course of 2022, 148 charges were brought against 11 defendants, resulting in over 180 weeks of prison sentences.

Charges ranged from shoplifting and theft, to criminal damage, threatening behaviour, possession of drugs and breaches of behaviour orders.

Some of the offenders received multiple convictions over the 12-month period.

These prolific offenders were identified through work under Sussex Police’s Operation Apprentice, a partnership that includes Brighton and Hove’s Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) and Business Improvement District (BID) ambassadors.

The BCRP and BID ambassadors provide vital information to help with investigations, such as timely reports to police, statements and CCTV. Their detailed knowledge of repeat offenders is also essential, helping to identify prolific offenders and secure prosecutions against them.

Sergeant Maria Skinner said: “In Brighton and Hove we carry out a huge amount of work with businesses to identify offenders causing the most harm, gather evidence and bring them to justice.

“Shoplifting is not a victimless crime. There is of course the financial loss to larger businesses and smaller, independent stores. But shopworkers are also faced with impossible situations, subjected to intimidation, assaults and abuse just for carrying out their jobs.

“The resolutions brought against these 11 individuals are in addition to the dozens of other convictions achieved throughout 2022.

“Over the next 12 months we will continue to clamp down on any criminals targeting businesses in Brighton and Hove, while working with our community partners to address the root causes of this behaviour.”

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I’m sure that businesses owners and residents of Brighton & Hove will be reassured to hear that Sussex Police continue to get prolific offenders off our streets and that criminals are facing judicial consequences as a result.

“It simply isn’t right that staff are subjected to abuse or that the businesses they work for and their livelihoods are persistently targeted and damaged.

“I want our town centres to be a safe, enjoyable place for everybody and a no-go area for criminals and opportunist offenders. In order to achieve this, it is vital that everyone involved, including police, businesses and the local authority, continue to work together to share information and raise awareness about crime prevention initiatives.”

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