Well known Newark shoplifter locked up following police action
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A prolific shoplifter who stole from three different stores within the space of 45 minutes has been jailed.
Stephen Peacock pocketed electrical items, alcohol and stacks of meat products during the quickfire thefts in Newark.
Three stores in London Road – Sainsbury’s, Farmfoods and Lidl – were all targeted by Peacock on Tuesday (3 October), a few weeks after he also stole tins of coffee from Heron Foods, in Jersey Street, on 18 September.
Within a few minutes of walking out of Lidl however, the shoplifter found himself in handcuffs after he was quickly identified as the man responsible for the theft and was spotted nearby by officers on patrol.
Peacock, of no fixed address, went on to plead guilty to four counts of theft, with the court appearance coming less than a week on from him receiving a suspended prison sentence after admitting to nine other shop thefts in Newark.
The 63-year-old would go on to be sent to prison for three months during his latest appearance at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (5 October).
Peacock’s imprisonment represented the latest in a series of custodial sentences handed out to shoplifters, following a more targeted approach by the police to stop prolific shoplifters in Newark.
A lot of work has gone on in recent months to tackle this issue, with the Newark Neighbourhood Policing team appointing a dedicated shop theft project officer in April 2023 to focus on cracking down on these offences.
Since then, there has been a significant rise in positive outcomes following reports of shoplifting in Newark, with arrests, convictions and other positive action being taken by the neighbourhood team in 17% of reported thefts, compared to the national average of 5%.
A key reason for this improvement has been down to the launch of a new Shop Watch scheme in the town, which was introduced by the dedicated shop theft project officer in partnership with Newark and Sherwood District Council.
As part of this, retailers have been encouraged to sign up to an app, called Schemelink, where they can access images of known shoplifters in the area to help them put a face to a name of a suspect.
Sergeant Marcus Bloomfield, of Nottinghamshire Police's Newark and Sherwood Neighbourhood Policing team, said:
“The actions of shoplifters like Peacock can have a hugely detrimental impact on businesses in the community, with these thefts affecting people’s livelihoods and ultimately resulting in prices being bumped up for local people.
“Peacock was given a chance in the form of a suspended sentence after being caught stealing from stores in the area but he clearly didn’t learn his lesson and instead decided to repeat the same crime only days later.
“This inexplicable disregard for the law is completely unacceptable, so we are pleased to see that he has now been taken off the streets and put behind bars for his behaviour.
“His conviction provides a great example of the work we’re doing locally with our partners to identify and stop those involved in shoplifting, in order to make our communities a better place to live, work or visit.”