Operation Yeehaw: Falling Harrogate shoplifting figures in face of national rise

Police figures show Harrogate has seen a decline in shoplifting

Police figures show Harrogate has seen a decline in shoplifting

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Police efforts to combat shoplifting has paid off as Harrogate sees a drop in shoplifting in the face of rising national and regional figures.

Figures show that Harrogate had the sixth lowest number of reported shoplifting rate out of the 17 Yorkshire areas, with 774 incidents reported over the last year, a result credited to efforts such as the now concluded Operation Yeehaw.

Crime and anti-social behavior was targeted in the operation, a partnership with the local Community Safety Team and Harrogate Borough Council, and took place alongside a shop watch scheme which allowed police and retailers to cooperate in challenging shoplifting.

The drop in reported incidents is in stark comparison to rising regional figures of 8 percent and a national of 7.6 percent.

Inspector Penny Taylor, of Harrogate Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “From the results of Op Yeehaw, it is clear that the message is getting through to those who commit crime and anti-social behaviour in our town centre, that their behaviour will not be tolerated.

"We are getting very positive feedback from residents and I’d like to thank them for supporting this operation. I would also urge them to continue to call us with reports of crime and anti-social behaviour, via 101 or 999 in an emergency, so we can maintain this positive action."

Across Yorkshire the number of shoplifting incidents reached 33,149, North Yorkshire Police received just 4,137.

Despite the drop the worst local hot spots are the shopping area between Oxford Street and Cambridge Street, Back Dragon Parade, Rudbeck Crescent; and Knaresborough Road.

The rating is based on the number of incidents as a percentage of the population, giving Doncaster the title for the area with the highest shoplifting levels in the region with Frenchgate Shopping Centre highlighted as a hot spot.

Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre, Frenchgate and Kirkgate Shopping Centre in Bradford were highlighted as Yorkshire wide hot spots for shoplifting.