Shoplifters in the Fens are being targeted with special signs in stores.

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Cambridgeshire police, Fenland District Council and nine shops in Wisbech have teamed up to create shelf-edge messages which send a direct message to thieves.

The signs, which are in three languages, warn would-be shoplifters they are being watched and that more than 1,500 arrests were made during 2011/12 for such crimes.

The messages are in English, Lithuanian and Polish - after analysis showed offenders were most likely to speak those languages.

They will be placed on shelf edges next to items usually targeted by thieves - alcohol, meat, cheese and beauty products.

Insp Robin Sissons, of Cambridgeshire police, said: “Shoplifting remains a priority for us and we are committed to coming up with new and innovative ways to tackle this type of crime. Using the shelf-edge messages allows us to send a direct message to offenders to make them think twice. The message is simple: We will not tolerate shoplifting. If you steal from a shop you will be arrested and put before the courts.”

Leaflets will also be handed out in places of worship, recruitment agencies and estate agents.

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