Burnie retailers unite on shoplifters
STORE retailers in Burnie are banding together to fight a spate of shoplifting in the North-West city.
A public meeting hosted by CityLink, in conjunction with Tasmania Police, will be held on Tuesday to discuss the problem and find solutions.
Police said clothing, especially sports-related clothing, was being targeted by shoplifters with 17 shoplifting offences reported in the region in June alone — eight of which were in Burnie.
CityLink chairman David Pease, who owns a shoe store, said while he had no firm statistics on the problem, thefts appeared to be at their highest level in a long time.
“A couple of retailers have had a really bad run,” Mr Pease said. “An incident where a suspected shop lifter became aggressive with a retailer has sparked this meeting and calls for better ways to deal with the problem as a collective group.”
He said a local IGA supermarket had been hit hard.
“We are also hearing anecdotally that the big chain supermarkets are also dealing with a spike in shoplifting offences,” he said.
CityLink is using a Cityprom Launceston retailers’ initiative as a guide to forming its own strategy.
Under the Launceston Retail Partnership, a Launceston Retail Watch social media page was established.
The private Facebook group, made up of 170 retailers, shares information in real time about thefts.
Information about offenders is posted in the hope it serves as a deterrent to shoplifting and also gives retailers information on who to watch out for.