A CRACKDOWN on shoplifting in north Essex has led to two arrests.

Last week, Essex Police officers arrested 19 people on suspicion of shoplifting across the county, including one in Colchester and another in Tendring.

Of these, 12 people have been charged with theft offences and other related matters.

Two people were cautioned, three cases are still being investigated and no further action will be taken in two other cases.

Sgt Christian Denning, of the business crime team, says specialist officers review every shoplifting case.

He said: “We want to help to protect retail staff, and customers, from repeated abuse and stores from repeat thefts by diverting people from their offending behaviour.

“So, where we believe a criminal behaviour order (CBO) would be justified, we work with our local colleagues to apply for them at court.

“Conditions can be imposed which ban offenders for lengthy periods of time from stores they have been targeting. And, if the offender has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, CBOs can include conditions such as the requirement to attend a treatment programme.”

It is an offence to breach the terms of a CBO and courts can impose a maximum sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both, for an adult convicted of breaching them.