POLICE officers will be increasing patrols in areas of Wrexham rural in a bid to clamp down on shop lifting offences.

Since the easing of coronavirus restrictions, police confirm they have seen a significant spike in thefts from shops over the last three months.

District Inspector Gavin Gilmore said officers are now working with staff in targeted stores following the rise in offences by tightening security and increasing patrols.

He said: “We have seen a significant increase in shop lifting incidents, mainly food outlet business across the area since coronavirus restrictions have eased, in particularly at the Ruabon Service Station, which has been our biggest demand area for theft offences.

“As a result, and to combat these offences, we are currently working with businesses to design out crime by reviewing store layouts, reduce the number of incidents by carrying out extra patrols, reviewing CCTV footage and deploying additional tactics to target prolific offenders.

“So far, a significant number of arrests have been made for shop lifting offences – including a further two this week.

"We are clamping down on all thefts in the area and want to emphasise our zero-tolerance attitude towards all incidents locally.

“I would also urge all shopkeepers to protect their stock, remove stock from exit points, train staff to be vigilant and inform them of procedures.

“We do also want to ensure those who are committing the offences get the help they need. There are agencies out there, including food banks and substance misuse programmes, that will support those who commit these offences.

“My neighbourhood team can provide contact details if anybody needs them.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101, or via the live web chat.