Stafford hit by spate of shoplifting with eight thefts a day
A rise in shoplifting has seen thefts in a town spike to more than eight incidents a day .
Thieves have also been targeting bicycles in Stafford town centre, police have said.
The growing threats saw crime in the borough during August reach its highest point in two years. There were 862 incidents with more than a quarter of them – 268 – recorded as theft.
The total number of crimes increased from 747 in July which itself was the most seen in a month since the summer of 2015. The figure included 166 thefts.
It comes after the Express & Star revealed neighbouring Cannock Chase also saw a two-year crime high in August.
Addressing the situation in Stafford a spokesman from Staffordshire Police said: “We have seen an increase in the theft of push bikes. These are normally committed by certain individuals, one of whom has recently been convicted in court.
“As a result, we recently organised two bike tagging events (one of which was at Halfords in the town) and plan to do more, but we would encourage people to lock their bikes securely with a good quality lock.
“There’s also been an increase in shoplifting offences in the town and we have worked closely with the courts to recently obtain two criminal behaviour orders banning certain individuals from the town.”
“In addition, we completed a week of action where we had officers in the town centre listening to the concerns of shoppers and workers in the town centre.”
There were other rises within the figures. Criminal damaged increased significantly in August to 104 incidents from 64 the previous month.
While burglaries were also on the up. Residential break-ins rose doubled from 24 to 48, while businesses and commercial properties raided also doubled from 16 to 32.
But one welcome decline was a fall in the number of violence cases.
Instances of ‘less serious violent crime with injury’ fell from 132 reports to 85.
While complaints of ‘other violence against the person’ dropped slightly from 173 incidents to 154.