Police column: Crackdown on shoplifters sees prolific offenders put behind bars

Shoplifting is a crime which has an impact on hard-working businesses, committed shop workers and proud members of the community.
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It is far from a victimless crime and here in Doncaster we remain committed to tackling retail crime, which is why I'm delighted to share with you some recent results that have seen a number of well-known shoplifters locked up and put behind bars.

Kristopher Becker, Robert Kerry and Jack Allchurch were all known in the Hyde Park, Balby and Hexthorpe communities as prolific thieves. Between them, they stole almost £2,000 worth of groceries from various stores without even thinking of the implications this would have on others. Thanks to our brilliant and dedicated retail crime team, we were able to charge them with a total of 18 thefts. Becker, 43, of Woodlands Avenue; Kerry, 32, of King Edward Road; and Allchurch, 28, of Green House Road, pleaded guilty and the trio were jailed earlier this month for a total of 22-and-a-half months.

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The psychological impact of retail crime also cannot be overlooked, as sometimes shoplifters turn violent and attack selfless shop workers who do not deserve to face abuse or assaults of any kind in the workplace. Rebecca Lyne, 42, of Kenyon Close, was one example and she was handed a six-month sentence after terrorising staff at a Heron Foods store in Thorne.

​Chief Supt Ian Proffitt, Doncaster District Commander.​Chief Supt Ian Proffitt, Doncaster District Commander.
​Chief Supt Ian Proffitt, Doncaster District Commander.

We have seen some really swift turnarounds through the courts with prolific shoplifters being put behind bars and over a recent two-week period, we charged 10 Doncaster men with nearly 100 shoplifting offences. Our commitment and dedication to tackling retail and business crime has never been more resolute and by getting justice for victims of prolific offenders, we can make Doncaster city centre and the city as a whole a place people can be proud of. We want Doncaster to be a safe, welcoming and enjoyable place for people to live, work, visit and shop, and through continuing to build strong partnerships with businesses and members of the community we can achieve this outcome. I would urge businesses to continue reporting theft and shoplifting offences to South Yorkshire Police so we can work with you to prevent crime and stop thieves in their tracks once and for all.