Fewer than a quarter of shoplifting crimes in Dorset have been resolved according to Dorset Police.

Shoplifting across the county has risen by 36 per cent in the 12 months leading up to June 2023, however, only 710 of the 3,944 recorded crimes resulted in a positive outcome for law enforcement.

READ: Huge rise in shoplifting across Dorset

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable, Rachel Farrell, of Dorset Police, said: “There has been a national increase in shoplifting offences across England and Wales.

"Our Positive Outcome Rate, that is the cases where we achieve a positive justice outcome, for the 12 months to 30 June 2023 was 18 per cent.

“We recently conducted a week of action across Dorset which was aimed at working with business owners, security staff and partners as an opportunity to join together to tackle business crime in their communities.

“All Neighbourhood Policing Teams across the force supported activity throughout the week, which included our officers, PCSO’s, Crime Prevention Teams and our Positive Action Team to deliver visible policing and engagement.

READ: Police stop potential shoplifter in Weymouth M&S

“We were able to achieve some really positive results during this week of action, which included being able to speak with almost 400 businesses and people, make 22 arrests and recover hundreds of pounds worth of stolen goods.

“This proactive and collaborative approach allowed us to deploy resources into certain locations, set up local shop schemes to improve communication and intelligence sharing between businesses, and provide useful crime prevention advice.

"In addition to joint patrolling and the relentlessly pursuing offenders, we worked to raise trust, confidence and awareness within our communities of the crimes that impact businesses.”

However, only 13 west Dorset businesses were contacted out of the 400, whilst nine arrests were made in the region over the course of the ‘week of action’.

Businesses in towns such as Dorchester, Bridport and Weymouth were disproportionately visited, and the focus seemed to be more on Bournemouth and the east of the county, with a town centre team set up.

READ: West Bay shop owners 'heartbroken' by surge in shoplifting

Deputy Chief Constable, Rachel Farrell, added: “In August we launched our Bournemouth Town Centre Team who will tackle and prevent crime and anti-social behaviour to make Bournemouth town centre a safe place to live, work and visit.

“Dorset Police and BCP Council work collaboratively to address issues including increasing the number of visible joint patrols through the town centre area, and increasing their visits to shops and other businesses to encourage the reporting of crime and anti-social behaviour."

When asked about whether teams like this will be set up in the west of the county, Deputy Chief Constable Farrell said there are different approaches for each community in the county.

She said: “Our approach to Neighbourhood Policing is one that ensures that we are visible, engaged and effective in our local communities, with our response being different depending on the needs of the community.

“We ensure that we focus on local community concerns by working together with our local partners, retailers and business improvement districts, and may involve utilising other policing resources from across the county.

“A recent example of this is our ‘100 days of summer’ initiative where uniformed officers from the police and local authority were present daily along the seafront at key times to prevent anti-social behaviour.”