Ipswich: Police issue jingle cells warning to town’s shoplifters

IPSWICH: Notorious shoplifters in the town are to receive Christmas cards warning them it will be jingle cells if they get up to their old tricks during the festive season.

As part of an innovative bid to deter the sticky-fingered pilferers, the special seasonal greetings will be hand-delivered by police direct to their homes.

The initiative comes as Suffolk Constabulary figures show shoplifting offences in Suffolk have risen by nine per cent year-on-year. Nationally it is said to have decreased by 6.5pc year-on-year.

From January to November 2009 there were 2,184 cases of shoplifting. During the same period this year there were 2,482. There have been 932 thefts from stores in Ipswich alone.

To help combat the problem 20 of the thieves currently on the town’s Shopwatch banned list will have the Christmas cards put through their letterboxes. A holly-decorated photograph showing a stern-looking detention officer slipping an unappetising meal through the hatch of a cell door adorns the front.

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The greeting beside it foretells the ghost of Christmas future if the thieves are tempted to transgress.

It points out that a single cell is no fun when you are on your own all day without your X-Box.

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The words inside the card include “You Get The Idea”, and “We Will Be Watching”.

Acting Chief Inspector Andrew Mason, of Ipswich police, said his officers are working closely with shops in the town, along with Ipswich Borough Council, street rangers and crime reduction officers.

In addition to crime prevention advice, more straightforward measures will also be used to cut down on thefts.

n What deterrents would you like to see for shoplifters? E-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN

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