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Shoplifting detection rate soars

A scheme to reduce shoplifting in Douglas has been a great success, according to the organisers.

The detection rate for recorded offences has risen from 50 to 80 per cent since "Shopwatch" was launched, in 2006.

The scheme is based on a co-ordinated approach to detecting shoplifters and bringing them to justice, with members sending and receiving text messages about suspicious behaviour, or if a known offender is seen.

Material is distributed to all Shopwatch members and the coordinating committee has the power to issue group bans, effectively preventing shoplifters from entering most of the shops in the centre of Douglas.

There have also been cases where repeat offenders have received heavier sentences from the courts after stealing while banned under the scheme.

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