The four-day operation, between Saturday March 18, and Tuesday March 21, was the latest phase of an initiative to tackle acquisitive crime.
Officers conducted visible patrols in Stonehaven, Portlethen and Laurencekirk and focused on targeting people wanted on warrant for acquisitive crime offences, intelligence gathering, and working alongside local businesses with crime prevention advice.
A 58 year old man was charged in relation to seven shopliftings; six in Stonehaven and one in Portlethen. A 16 year old boy and 19 year old man were charged in relation to shoplifting in Laurencekirk. A 16 year old boy and 13 year old girl were charged in relation to shoplifting in Stonehaven and a 27 year old man was charged in relation to shoplifting in Laurencekirk.
The operation was carried out in support of the recently developed Aberdeenshire Retail Crime initiative in Stonehaven. Officers work with retailers such as the Co-Op and Charles Michies Chemist as well as with new local businesses to promote crime reduction opportunities.
Patrols were carried out to provide reassurance as well as in order to deter opportunistic thieves from acquisitive crime.
PC Ashleigh Connon, from the Kincardine and Mearns Community Policing Team and who organised the operation said: “This initiative allowed us to build upon preventative measures already in place by working alongside local businesses to help them reduce the risk of being targeted by opportunistic thieves, train staff in preventative measures, and evaluate current procedures and protocols.
“This operation sent out a clear message that we will actively pursue those responsible for the commission of retail crime in this area. Such crimes are not victimless crimes. They impact on the local community and local businesses, and we will do everything we can to identify and report offenders. “We would ask for the help of the local community in providing information about people they know who are committing crimes in our area. Anyone with information can contact local Officers via 101 or report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Local Area Commander Chief Inspector Murray Main said: “This latest phase of our successful retail crime operation has involved local officers in Kincardine and Mearns working closely with retailers in the area to identify those responsible for crimes of shoplifting, particularly those persistent criminals, and ensure they are held accountable for their actions.”
He added: “People sometimes view shoplifting as a victimless crime which doesn’t have much of an impact on the community, but that is certainly not the case. Every time something is stolen the retailer loses money and as a result, this can mean prices go up or worse, small businesses fail and people lose their jobs. I’d like to reassure people that operations such as this will continue across the south of Aberdeenshire to ensure our towns and villages remain safe places for people to live, work, visit and enjoy.”