POLICE across Essex are continuing to crack down on shoplifting and assaults against retail workers.

Last week saw 24 people arrested on suspicion of shop theft across the county, with 15 subsequently being charged with a total of 43 counts of shop theft. 

Three of those were also charged with assault.

Business crime officers work with the retail community to stress the importance of reporting shop theft, abuse and violence against staff.

Together with designing out crime officers, they provide individual stores with tailored crime prevention and security advice. 

PC Alex Plakhtienko, of the force’s specialist Business Crime Team, said: “We want to make our high streets and shopping areas more pleasant for people to visit and work in.”

Essex Police officers made 730 arrests for shop theft across Essex between September 14, 2023 and March 24, 2024.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Police in Essex have made more than 700 shop theft arrests in the past six monthsPolice in Essex have made more than 700 shop theft arrests in the past six months (Image: Newsquest)

Altogether, five people were arrested in Colchester, three each in the Basildon and Chelmsford districts, two each in Southend, Tendring and Thurrock; and one in Brentwood.

In addition, six people were arrested in the Harlow district between March 18 to March 24.

One person arrested last week was cautioned for shop theft offences and four received community resolutions. 

Cases involving four others are still being investigated while no further action will be taken against another.