A man from the Bury St Edmunds area has been jailed for a string of shoplifting offences from stores across Suffolk.. 

Sean Smith, 24 and of no fixed abode but from the Bury area, was sentenced at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Friday for committing a total of 19 shoplifting offences from August to October 2023. 

These offences took place at business premises in Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. 

Among the items stolen included groceries from Aldi in Newmarket, alcohol from Sainsbury's in Ipswich, headphones from HMV in Ipswich and cosmetics in Boots. 

Smith was sentenced to 26 weeks in jail.

Shoplifting offences have increased by 18% in Suffolk and a multi-agency pilot scheme is being considered to tackle this.

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The conviction of Smith is the latest in a recent string of shoplifting offences that have taken place in the Bury St Edmunds area.

Inspector Andy Beeby, from Bury St Edmunds police, said: "The Smith result and the other convictions that have taken place recently demonstrate shoplifting is a crime whatever the value of the item stolen and can result in a criminal conviction". 

"With it being Safer Business Action Week this week, hopefully this will give some comfort to shop owners that where the compelling evidence is secured we will look to prosecute with appropriate action taken by the courts.

“We work closely with businesses and our Design Out Crime Officers providing crime prevention advice and guidance to owners which we encourage them to take on board.

"Periodically, operations are carried out to try to target such offences through high-visibility and covert patrols in a bid to disrupt shoplifters, particularly persistent offenders who choose not to change their criminal behaviour.”