DURING a campaign over Christmas, shoplifting in Blackwood fell by nearly 12 per cent compared to 2011 figures.

After an initiative that involved police, shop owners and Caerphilly council, the 11.8 per cent reduction went alongside 15 shoplifters who were dealt with following searches of their homes to recover the goods.

Uniformed and plainclothed officers were on patrol in the town centre during shop opening hours, working with Caerphilly council’s CCTV control room so that offenders and anyone acting suspiciously could be tracked while in the town.

Throughout 2012, 25 stores signed up to the Blackwood Retail Partnership, which in many cases sees the use of the Storenet radio, which allows messages to be communicated between stores, CCTV control room and the police.

Anti-social behaviour is also down by 40 per cent, after work to target issues like car cruisers.

Gwent Police also announced there will be an increased presence in the town on match days in the Six Nations tournament, starting next Saturday.