Further efforts to tackle shoplifters and reduce thefts from businesses in Eastleigh have resulted in arrests, charges and convictions, and there is a promise of more to come.
Operations, including the one to coincide with National Business Week in November, as well as continued patrols, and engagement with shop staff and the wider community, have been behind the latest successes.
And, just in case you’ve missed any of the recent positive action and results, here’s a little round-up of some of the latest activity.
These cases highlight the hard work being undertaken, often behind the scenes, by officers from across the district.
On Friday 13 October, we brought you news of a 36-year-old woman and 39-year-old man from Bursledon, who had been charged with multiple shoplifting offences.
It followed their arrest in Nightingale Close, Bursledon on Thursday 12 October.
The thefts were reported at One Stop stores in Bursledon and Sarisbury Green between July and September this year.
Less than a week later, on Thursday 19 October, Eastleigh Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, along with Eastleigh Priority Crime Team and Eastleigh BID (Town Rangers), targeted shoplifters in the town centre as part of National Business Week.
A number of youngsters, all of whom had been linked to recent shopliftings in the area, were deterred from further offending.
The school they attend was also contacted to complete further preventative work in the future.
Because of the teams’ patrols, no shopliftings or thefts were reported that day, but arrests were also made in connection with other matters.
In the middle of last month, we let you know about two teenage boys who had been charged with multiple shoplifting offences in the Eastleigh and Hedge End areas in October and November.
Then, towards the end of November, we told you about a 35-year-old man from Southampton who had been charged with five shopliftings from Tesco, Swan Centre, Eastleigh.
Samuel Griffiths, of Cotswold Road, Southampton was arrested at the centre shortly after 2pm on Monday 27 November.
He was released on conditional bail, to next appear at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 14 December.
On the final day of last month, we confirmed that Vincent Stephen Petroccione, 32, of no fixed abode, had been sentenced to a total of 28 weeks' imprisonment for shoplifting and breach of restraining order.
It followed a breach of his restraining order on Thursday 31 August and 12 thefts, totalling more than £700 in stolen goods, from shops in Netley and Southampton during August and September.
Right at start of December, we shared news on 45-year-old Mark Collison, of no fixed abode, who had been charged with six counts of theft at various businesses in Eastleigh and Southampton.
After a court appearance earlier this week, he will now next appear at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 9 January 2024. He has been released on conditional bail until that hearing.
Reacting to the recent successes, Eastleigh NPT Inspector, Andy Mooge, said: “These results emphasise our determination and commitment to tackling shoplifting in Eastleigh.
“We know the significant impact this type of crime has on businesses and the wider community, and we will continue to be extremely focused in our efforts to tackle it.
“Our response will continue to create a hostile environment for those seeking to offend and we are committed to relentlessly pursuing those who carry on doing so.
“We also want to remind young shoplifters that the effects of their actions today can have a long-term impact on their lives.
“A criminal record cannot be erased and will have long-lasting consequences on future education and employment opportunities.
“If you know a young person who commits crime, such as shoplifting, remind them of these facts, before it’s too late.
“Please also continue to report incidents to us via 101, or online via our website.
“Our officers will continue to follow-up on reports and will work with businesses to streamline how information, important to our enquiries, is provided to us.”
You can also report incidents to us anonymously via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111."