Met launches new scheme to tackle shoplifting as rates spike

The Metropolitan Police has have joined up with food banks and community groups across South London to speak to residents about a new scheme to tackle shoplifting.

Officers and volunteers from Brixton Foodbank are currently in Streatham Common, Clapham Library, in Clapham High Street and Brixton Market in Electric Avenue, Brixton.

From today, Dedicated Ward Officers will investigate reports of shoplifting. Previously, these investigations were undertaken by emergency response and patrol teams.

Local policing teams paired up with Brixton Food Bank to support residents at sites around South London (Picture: The Met)

Information leaflets explaining this transition will be on offer at the three sites with officers on hand to answer any questions from the public.

A spokesman for the Met said the new teams will achieve “lasting reductions” in rates of shoplifting.

The move comes following recent figures released by the Met which show shoplifting has risen by more than 12 per cent since February last year. Police say the true value is “likely to be higher” as not all crimes are reported. 

Earlier this month a new report from the London School of Economics (LSE) revealed a direct link between a 10 per cent rise in the cost of living and an eight per cent increase in violence, robberies, shoplifting, burglary and theft over the past year. 

Police teams with residents at Streatham Green today (Picture: The Met)

The Met said the new scheme aimed to reduce other crimes linked to shoplifting including  antisocial behaviour and drug use.

A spokesman for the Met said: “We recognise that these crimes are often not committed by choice. Offenders will be referred to drug diversion services as applicable. 

“We have partnered with a local food bank for today’s event, and we are seeking further opportunities for collaboration over the coming months.

“We also ask our partners to continue to report incidents and pass relevant intelligence to us, so we can address this problem together.”

Pictured top: Police officers in Streatham Green today (Picture: The Met)

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