Shoplifters are being targeted in a new initiative to tackle crime in Fenland.
Cambridgeshire police have joined forces with Fenland District Council and nine Wisbech stores to create shelf-edge messages to send a direct message to thieves, a tactic believed to be the first ever used in the county.
Carl Lodge is the store manager at Wisbech Co-op and said shoplifting is a constant problem in the town centre.
The signs, which are in three languages, warn would-be shoplifters they are being watched and that more than 1,500 arrests were made during 2011/12 for such crime.
The messages are in English, Lithuanian and Polish – after analysis showed offenders were most likely to speak those languages. They will be placed on shelf edges next to items usually targeted by thieves: alcohol; meat; cheese and health and beauty.
Many feature an eye design and Julie Hanrahan, a Community Safety Officer for the police, said it has been shown to deter people as they feel they are being watched.
Leaflets will also be handed out in places of worship, recruitment agencies and estate agents reinforcing the message.
Inspector Robin Sissons said: “Shoplifting remains a priority for us and we are committed to coming up with new and innovative ways to tackle this type of crime.
“The message is simple: We will not tolerate shoplifting. If you steal from a shop you will be arrested and put before the courts.”
The initiative is the latest tool being used by the force as part of its Get Closer campaign which identifies crime trends.
Visit http://www.cambs.police.uk/GetCloser/Shoplifting.asp for more information.