A CLAMPDOWN on shoplifting across Colchester has led to three arrests in the past week, Essex Police said.

Officers made 23 arrests across the county in relation to the crime and 12 people have subsequently been charged with theft offences.

Specialist business crime officers will now work with policing teams to apply to the courts for a criminal behaviour order against one alleged offender.

In Colchester, three arrests were made between October 23 and 29 amid the countywide crack down.

Sgt Christian Denning, of Essex Police’s Business Crime Team, said: “Our team reviews every arrest for shop theft while local officers investigate the offences.

“Where applying to the courts for a CBO to be imposed on an offender will help to protect retail staff from repeated abuse and stores from recurrent offending, we work with the investigator to achieve this.

“CBOs include conditions which ban offenders for long periods of time from the stores they target.

“And these orders can also include requirements to attend drug or alcohol treatment programmes, which seek to help divert offenders from their criminal behaviour.”

Arrests were also made in Tendring, Chelmsford, Harlow and Southend, as well as Basildon, Brentwood and Rochford.