Police's Operation Cracker reaps results in fight against shoplifters

Police in Buxton have been heading out on Operation Cracker patrols over the past month which has resulted in eight arrests being made for shoplifting.

Operation Cracker is a targeted initiative that sees officers from the Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team carrying out increased patrols around Spring Gardens and local shops over the festive season. The team aim to help keep shoppers safe, deter thieves, and catch shoplifters in the act to help.

Since the launch of the initiative on Monday, November 7, police have arrested eight people with shoplifting offences, resulting in two people serving time in jail.

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Kirk Barton, 33, of Queens Road, Fairfield, was arrested and charged in connection with theft from stores in Buxton. He pleaded guilty at Chesterfield Justice Centre on Monday, December 5, and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison.

Brian Spencer, 43, of South Street, Buxton, was arrested and charged in connection with theft from three stores in Buxton over the past month. He appeared at the Chesterfield Justice Centre on Thursday, November 17, and was sentenced to 28 weeks in prison.

Pc Mark Parkinson from the Buxton Town Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “At this time of year we can often see a slight increase in the number of shop thefts reported, and Operation Cracker aims to challenge that.

“We have been carrying out patrols in the town over the last month to identity offenders and stop thieves in the act, along with offering crime prevention advice and reassurance to shoppers.

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Pc Parkinson added: “One month in and we have had some good results. We have had great support from the Buxton Retailers Against Crime (BRAC) group. The group members agreed on a list of 46 known shoplifters who are now banned from all BRAC stores for the next 12 months to help tackle the issue. We will be visiting the individuals to wish them a happy Christmas and advise them that if they are caught shoplifting we will come after them.

“Buxton is a safe and enjoyable place to shop, especially over the festive season, and this operation aims to keep it that way.”

To report suspicious activity or crime in your community, call 101 or 999 in an emergency.

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