A ROGUES gallery of prolific shoplifters has been circulated around the town centre to crack down on light-fingered thieves.

The three-month campaign started just before Christmas and has already issued £80 fines to first offenders, made others write letters of apology - and even sent someone to court for stealing a £1.20 hair-grip from Primark.

Inspector Julie Mitchell, who has volunteered to run the shoplifting campaign, said: "We've had people taking things like cosmetics, jewellery - even someone who nicked their lunch and a drink.

"We are working with security staff in the town and they have been given photographs of prolific shop lifters who they have got to be on the lookout for. We're also working with shops to give advice on how to prevent shoplifting by displaying things better."

The lowest value items stolen so far have been the hair grips from Primark - taken by a 20-year-old man. The highest value items were some Ipad cases stolen from Carphone Warehouse.

Insp Mitchell said the punishment shoplifters get depends on whether they have been in trouble before. "The £80 fixed penalty notices are a really efficient deterrent for dealing with it in some cases - but repeat offenders do get charged to court."

Julie is now the 'shoplifting champion' for the town centre and will be helping businesses continue the crackdown.