Banning thieves having a positive impact for business – Launceston

More than 100 shop stealing offenders can no longer enter Launceston businesses, thanks to trespass notices being issued by Tasmania Police in a move to assist proprietors protect stock and staff.

Since September 105 trespass notices have been served on offenders by members of a Tasmania Police task force established to target shop stealing. During the same period more than $15,000 in stolen property was recovered and 103 people were charged with stealing offences.

A forum held between Tasmania Police and business stakeholders in the lead up to the establishment of the task force had identified that trespass notices banning people from stores was a tool police could assist with implementing.

Task force member Senior Constable Sharee Smith said with the task force set to conclude at the beginning of the new year, Tasmania Police would like to thank the business community for their support and active participation.

“The task force has had a significant impact on offenders by encouraging businesses to report crime and by actively interdicting with those who steal,” she said.

“As a direct result there was an increase in the number of stealing matters reported during the months the task force has been operating – which reflects that businesses had increased confidence in reporting matters to police.

“Through cooperation and close partnerships with businesses police have achieved a twenty percent increase in charges laid for shop stealing matters.”

Senior Constable Smith said businesses had been very proactive in issuing banning notices on offenders, which police will continue to serve into the future.

“The banning notices send a clear message to those who choose to steal that businesses and police will remove the privilege to enter stores, and will prosecute people for trespass,” she said.

“While the task force will be finalised in the new year, Launceston police will continue to focus on shop stealing to place offenders before the courts and to ensure Launceston’s shopping centres are safe and enjoyable for the whole community.”