Geraldton police work with retailers to ban thieves and prosecute for trespassing and stricter bail conditions

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
District engagement and support unit Sen. Sgt Russell Hurst.
Camera IconDistrict engagement and support unit Sen. Sgt Russell Hurst. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardi/RegionalHUB

Geraldton police have introduced a new program to retailers in a bid to tackle repeat shoplifters, potentially banning suspects from stores for up to two years and allowing police to prosecute offenders for trespassing.

A banning notice program was introduced to retailers at a retail forum held on Friday, March 10, reminding owners of their rights to impose bans on thieves and allow for stricter bail conditions with misconduct orders.

Engagement and support unit OIC Senior Sergeant Russell Hurst said the banning notice program would allow store owners to remove the consent for people to enter their stores for up to two years and give police the ability to prosecute offenders for trespassing.

“We talked about what we’re doing with repeat offenders and stricter bail conditions and talking about restricting the movements of people that offend in stores repeatedly,” he said.

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“It protects staff, protects customers and others coming and going from stores. We want the community to feel safe when they go and shop especially with their mums and young kids and the elderly alike.”

“If that means banning a person from going into a store, it’s a benefit to everyone and at the end of the day if people aren’t committing the offences they won’t be banned.”

Sen. Sgt Hurst said store owners always had the ability to remove someone’s consent to enter a store and the program was only encouraging store owners to be confident enough to apply those rights.

“It gives the store owner confidence to know they have the backing of the police,” he said.

Police also discussed the benefits of misconduct orders and violence restraining orders at shopping centres and target hardening strategies such as the checkout distance from doors and increased security tags on easily concealed products.

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