Kettering stop and search operations recover stolen property and drugs
More than half of the people stopped had been shoplifting
A stop and search crackdown on persistent shoplifters operating in Kettering town centre has recovered an estimated £600 of stolen goods as well as drugs.
In the past month, the Kettering Police Team has conducted 15 stop and searches in the centre of the town, with more than half yielding shoplifted items.
The searches, which took place from October 21 to November 21, came as part of partnership working between Northamptonshire Police, the Kettering retail crime initiative, local retailers and security companies in the town.
Suspects have been earmarked by town centre CCTV operators and shop and security staff, alerting police officers who stopped and searched those thought to be stealing.
A spokesman for Northants Police said: "Our officers in the town would be contacted by CCTV operators, shop or security staff who believed that someone had been stealing from a specific premises. Our officers would then stop and search them and recover the goods.
"The goods that are found were returned to the store and the offenders, who are sadly mainly drug addicts, were referred to Op Citadel - a multi-agency approach to deal with, manage and divert heroin and crack users away from drug use, which is being piloted in Kettering.
"If they accept this referral, we work with many agencies to try and get them out of the cycle of addiction. We have had four referrals to Op Citadel in the last week, mostly coming from engagement when they are stop and searched.
"For those who don't want to engage, or due to their offending history can't engage with Op Citadel, they are arrested and processed through the criminal justice system."
• Leon Edward Wykes, 21, of Regent Street, Kettering, has been charged with four counts of theft - all from B&M in High Street, Kettering.