Revealed: Dereham's shopfliting hotspots
Rob GarrattA snapshot of Dereham's shoplifting hotspots can today be revealed for the first time, following a Times investigation.The shops targeted most by quick-fingered thieves have been exposed by new figures, which lay bare every shop theft in the town over the last five years.Rob Garratt
A snapshot of Dereham's shoplifting hotspots can today be revealed for the first time, following a Times investigation.
The shops targeted most by quick-fingered thieves have been exposed by new figures, which lay bare every shop theft in the town over the last five years.
Around 70 different shops in Dereham have been struck by thieves nearly 600 times since the beginning of 2005, the same as once every three days, with big supermarkets the most likely to suffer.
Police sources show that less than one in five thieves walk free, with 83pc of the 593 crimes resulting in charges, cautions, fines or disposed of in other ways.
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Tesco tops the list hotspots after being targeted 60 times in the last five years.
Close behind is Roys, which was victim of 59 thefts in the same time period, while there are 58 thefts on file at Morrisons.
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Between them, these three shops account for 30pc of all shoplifting in Dereham.
A Morrisons spokesman said: 'Morrisons has a range of ongoing security measures including CCTV, security guards, plain clothes in-store detectives and electronic tagging systems.'
A Tesco spokesman added: 'We will continue to work closely with the local police.'
Other shops hit repeatedly include Somerfield (51), Boots (44), and the now-defunct Woolworths (38).
A spokesman for the Co-operative Group, who took over Somerfield in February last year, said they had bolstered security since the takeover.
Dereham has seen shoplifting rates rise from just 78 offences in 2005 to a peak of 158 incidents in 2008, before falling to 133 crimes last year.
Dereham's Shopwatch scheme hosts monthly meetings between its 22 members, offers crime prevention advice and operates a radio system that allows staff to share information about suspicious individuals.
Shopwatch coordinator Sgt Amie Morfoot, at Dereham Police Station, said crime rates varied according to the season, with the peak in the run up to Christmas.
She added: 'At the end of the day there are a number of known offenders, and if someone's appearance has changed or they see someone suspicious shops can share that, there's information sharing airwaves in place.
'Some shoplifters will choose something like sandwiches that they can eat or drink there and then; others might go for alcohol or electrical goods, things they can sell on.'
Reported thefts 2004-2009
Tesco - 60
Roys of Wroxham - 59
Morrisons - 58
Somerfield - 51
Boots - 44
Woolworths - 38
QD - 21
Superdrug - 18
Co-operative Shop - 17
One Stop Shop - 17
Lynn Hill Service Station - 15
Starlings Toymaster - 14
Bennetts Electrical - 13
Peacocks - 13
Wilkinson - 13
The Original Factory Shop - 11
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