Theft operation lands more arrests
Dated: 21 Apr 2012
Police have arrested more people and recovered further property as an operation to tackle thieves continues.
The team tackling thieves in Newcastle's city centre have arrested 28 people and detected 134 thefts offences over recent weeks.
The operation was launched after an increase in the numbers of pickpockets stealing property - mainly mobile phones - in crowded places such as the city centre's pubs and clubs.
During the ongoing crackdown - which includes both high visibility and plain clothes patrols, and working with the city's licensed premises - 30 mobile phones valued at £15,000, eight digital cameras worth £800, four laptops worth £400 and four iPods valued at £450 have been recovered.
And there has been £1,200 in cash recovered - bringing the total value of property recovered to £17,850.
Police continue to target known thieves in the city centre and those seen to be acting suspiciously, as well as pro-active operations, including warrants being executed.
Some of those arrested are known nationally and have been arrested for offences including conspiracy to commit theft.
DC Iain Brown is leading the operational activity. He said: "The operation continues on a daily basis to disrupt and prevent criminal activity taking place in the city centre where people enjoying the night-life are having mobile phones and other property stolen.
"We're working alongside colleagues from other police forces and agencies across the country, as well as licensed premises to target these groups of suspected criminals.
"This has so far been successful with almost 30 people arrested and a number of these subsequently charged and in custody, as well as thousands of pounds worth of stolen property recovered.
"The operation is ongoing and the activity should act as a warning for those thinking about coming to the city centre to steal that we will be watching them and they will be arrested."
The operation also includes crime prevention work, which is ongoing and includes property registering initiatives.
Detective Inspector Terry McNamara added: "Crime prevention is a really important as many thefts are opportunist and take place when property can be seen on display or within easy reach.
"Anyone using licensed premises in the city centre should take sensible precautions in safeguarding their property by not leaving bags or coats unattended and keeping items such as mobile phones in a secure bag or pocket.
"Thousands of people enjoy a night out in Newcastle without any issue but it's important people take responsibility for their property and help us in our efforts to keep thieves at bay."
People are encouraged to open a free account with national property database Immobilise.com where they can register property including mobile phones, iPods and laptops.
For more information on crime prevention, contact the Newcastle City Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101 ext 69191.