SHOPLIFTERS are being targeted by police in West Sussex in the run-up to Christmas.
Operation Tinsel will see high-visibility patrols in shopping centres in a bid to catch out offenders.
Neighbourhood policing teams across the area will work closely with shops – in both the high street and retail parks – where there will be an increased uniformed presence.
The next few weeks will see a concerted effort from shop watch, CCTV and the police to monitor people visiting town centres.
Sergeant Chris Thomas, from Sussex Police, said: ‘December is likely to see a rise in shoplifting.
‘Leading up to Christmas there is always pressure on us all to provide the perfect Christmas and gifts and for some that presents the temptation to steal.
‘If anyone is thinking about visiting our local towns to commit crime then think again.
‘We’re sending out a strong message to thieves that shoplifting will not be tolerated.
‘Offenders caught stealing can expect to be dealt with robustly.’
Anyone with information which can help police catch offenders should call Sussex police on 101.