'Shoplifting not a victimless crime' - Merseyside Police

Merseyside Police crackdown on stolen property Credit: PA

Merseyside Police are cracking down on shoplifters - and the people who buy their stolen goods.

Research by the force found shoplifters had most success selling items in pubs and bingo halls.

Offenders said they'd target any business if the risk of getting caught was low and there was a demand for the goods.

Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council's Trading Standards and licensing departments are educating pubs about the penalties a person faces if the buy stolen goods.

The campaign is running in conjunction with a police operation targeting prolific shoplifters.

Inspector Joanne Preston said pubs that had a zero tolerance approach to people selling stolen goods to their customers were an example to others.

She said:'Shoplifting is not a victimless crime. People who buy goods they suspect are stolen are committing a criminal offence. Shoplifters only do what they do because there is a market to sell to. If everyone did the decent thing and refused to buy stolen goods, criminals would not steal them.'

As part of the force's crack down on robberies, burglaries and thefts, officers have been visiting small businesses in north Liverpool to ensure owners have sufficient CCTV and other security measures.