A pre-Christmas crackdown on shoplifters has been launched in Lichfield.

Police patrolling Lichfield city centre

Operation Citadel ran for the first time last year and saw a 66% reduction in the number of reported offences.

Lichfield PCSO Jenna Gibbons, who launched the initiative, said it was important to keep criminals out of the city centre.

“The operation was introduced in response to an increase in shoplifting in Lichfield city centre and concern from retailers,” she said.

“One particular store was being subject to shoplifters every day of the week. After the initiative there were no reported incidents there for two months.

“This time round, there will be an increase in patrols around the city centre both uniformed and plain clothed officers and we will be working closely with Lichfield CCTV operators and retailers. We’ll also be targeting bike thieves in the area.”

Any offenders caught and successfully prosecuted throughout Operation Citadel will be issued with a civil exclusion banning them from premises for at least 12 months. Warning letters will also be issued for minor offences.

Lisa Prokopiou, centre manager for Three Spires Shopping Centre, said: “As a secured environment, Three Spires Shopping Centre is pleased to support Lichfield police with Operation Citadel during the festive shopping period.”

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