Warning to shoplifters in Hambleton
Published on Tuesday, 11th December 2018
A warning has gone out to would-be shoplifters in Hambleton - the district council’s CCTV cameras are watching.
The local authority has 44 cameras monitoring the towns of Thirsk, Bedale, Northallerton and Stokesley – with its team of operators working closely with the police to detect and deter crime.
Recently they helped to put a man behind bars for fraudulently attempting to obtain cash by deception in Stokesley – he pretended to work for a building firm and requested £3,000 from his victim for alleged work to be done. The CCTV operator spotted the withdrawal of cash by the victim and the handover to the man. He received two custodial sentences for nine months to run concurrently.
Northallerton has had a number of recent successes thanks to the successful ‘Shopwatch’ scheme where local businesses have direct radio contact with CCTV operators and can report incidents immediately. They include:
- Theft of £150 of alcohol from Marks and Spencer which reported the incident and advised that the individual had made off on a bike. The CCTV operator identified the man and the direction he had taken and alerted the police who detained him with the stolen goods at Northallerton Railway Station. He remains under investigation
- Two males were spotted using counterfeit notes to purchase items on the high street by an off duty officer. Barkers radioed in via Shopwatch to report that they were in their store where police officers were able to detain one of them. The second man ran off but was tracked by the CCTV operator and the police were able to locate and detain him. The CCTV operator also recognised the men - who were from Bradford - as they had been in Northallerton before and was able to provide the police with their vehicle registration number and details of where they had parked. On searching the vehicle the police found stolen goods and more counterfeit notes – both men were arrested for fraud by false representation and remain under investigation.
- Tesco radioed in to report a man in their store who was placing bottles of alcohol in a bag. The CCTV operator monitored the store and when he left without paying the police were on hand to arrest him. He was charged with two counts of theft and appeared before Northallerton Magistrates where he received a 12 month Community Order with rehabilitation requirements and ordered to pay compensation for his criminal behaviour.
Thirsk has had its first success story thanks to the Shopwatch scheme launched in October. Well Heeled reported a man had entered the store and was offering to sell their staff items from House of Fraser. When they declined he became abusive and when he left the CCTV operator was able to follow him and obtain the registration of his vehicle which was passed to the police.
“The camera network across Hambleton is an integral part of the work of the Safer Hambleton Hub and police teams - which keep our communities safe from harm, crime and anti-social behaviour,” said Councillor Mrs Bridget Fortune, Portfolio Holder for Leisure.
“As Christmas approaches, shoppers are reminded to keep themselves and their belongings safe but they can be reassured that the Shop Watch members, CCTV control team and the local police are responding effectively and promptly to any incident reported and doing all they can to keep residents and visitors safe from harm.
“Our message to any shoplifter or criminal is clear – commit crime in Hambleton and you will be caught.”