April 27, 2022 8.00 pm

CCTV invaluable as shoplifting rises to pre-pandemic levels in West Lindsey

There have also been serious burglaries in the area

By Local Democracy Reporter

Crime is returning to pre-pandemic levels in West Lindsey, with a rise in shoplifting and a spate of serious burglaries.

Several Gainsborough businesses have been repeatedly targeted in the past three months, causing extensive loss and damage.

A council report says the CCTV network has been valuable in catching the perpetrators of both low-level and serious crime.

A total of 206 cameras across the patch are monitored 24/7 every day of the year.

It has successfully located wanted people in recent high profile police investigations.

“Following the end of any pandemic lockdowns, we have seen a steady increase in shoplifting incidents returning to levels seen prior to the pandemic,” the West Lindsey District Council report says.

“CCTV operators monitor for known offenders and use our two-way radio system to communicate with Shop Watch members. The primary aim is to prevent known offenders accessing retail stores and being in a position to steal items.”

CCTV cameras are used to identify suspects | Photo: Guy Owen for The Lincolnite

It adds: “Within the past three months we have used CCTV footage to support a number of higher profile police investigations and subsequent prosecutions.

“This has included a spate of commercial burglaries in Gainsborough where some retail premises were targeted multiple times resulting in extensive loss and damage. CCTV footage was used to help track, locate and identify offenders.”

Cameras are also used to crackdown on drunken violence, public disorder and drug dealing linked to pubs and clubs.

They can also assist in finding missing people or protecting those who may self harm.

An additional 82 cameras are currently being installed, and upgrades will be taking place in Market Rasen, Hemswell Cliff and Richmond Park over the next year.

The report will go before the council’s Prosperous Communities Committee on May 3.