A crackdown on shoplifters in Killingworth has led to promising results for police officers.
The Killingworth neighbourhood policing team has been targeting shoplifting offences in the town centre and surrounding areas.
And the initiative has led to positive results, with offences more than halved in the four weeks since the operation got under way.
But despite the 54 per cent cut in offences, Killingworth Neighbourhood Inspector John Smith is urging shoppers and retailers to remain vigilant.
He said: “The team has been working hard to combat shoplifting by providing extra uniformed and plain-clothes patrols.
“They have also been offering crime prevention advice to shoppers and retailers on how to deter criminals.
“We have made a number of arrests and will continue to target those who commit offences.
“There have been a number of thefts from bags in the area and people need to keep their bags closed and not make them accessible to opportunist thieves.
“Anyone who does see any suspicious activity or suspected shoplifting should call the police.”