PLAIN clothes officers and "high-visibility" patrols are being used to tackle shoplifting in Salisbury's city centre.

PC Liam Barker has been developing a strategy to address the shoplifting issue.

A statement on the Salisbury Police Facebook page said: "Plain-clothes officers and high-visibility patrols have been used to deter and detect incidents of shoplifting, however the bulk of our response to this issue has been to engage with local businesses and partner-agencies to promote a multi-agency approach.

"We recognise that we are not the only ones with an interest in resolving this problem and we’re much more effective when we work with others to tackle long-term issues.

"It may seem like a trivial issue to some, however shoplifting is one of the highest reported crime-types in Salisbury, and The Association of Convenience Stores estimates that the cost of crime against retailers is £246 million a year. This equates to a 7p ‘crime tax’ being added to every transaction. More than 80 per cent of retail staff have experienced some form of verbal or physical abuse whilst at work, and this is mostly related to confronting shoplifters.

"Making Salisbury a more difficult target for shoplifters will also improve other areas of criminality. The Salisbury Community Policing Team will continue to work on resolving this issue in order lower the demand on our officers and to improve the quality of life for our communities."