New Westminster – Between November 29th and December 1st 2023, officers from the New Westminster Police Department Crime Reduction Unit, Street Crime Unit and Gang Suppression Unit worked with retail loss prevention staff to identify and arrest violent and chronic shoplifters.
This operation, Project Barcode, was created in response to ongoing concerns from local businesses about regular retail theft, increased violence when there are attempts to intervene, and the impact this has on businesses operations and safety. This project was funded in large part by the Special Investigations and Targeted Enforcement Program, with funding from the provincial government under the Safer Communities Action Plan.
Over three days, 18 people were arrested. Of those arrested, six had previous criminal convictions, including five violent offences. The New Westminster Police Department is recommending 21 charges to Crown Counsel. The charges recommended include but are not limited to: theft, possession of stolen property, and breaching conditions.
“The results of this project indicate that retail theft continues to be a problem in New Westminster,” stated Sergeant Andrew Leaver. “A project like this takes a great deal of planning and coordination, and we encourage businesses to report retail theft to NWPD so we can prioritize current resources, access additional funding, and continue to identify and arrest those who are using violence and intimidation against retail employees.”
The New Westminster Police Department would like to extend our appreciation to the Downtown area businesses who supported our units. Retail staff in New Westminster are encouraged to report thefts to the New Westminster Police Department by calling 604-525-5411 and if they witnessing a theft in progress to call 9-1-1.
CONTACT PERSON: Sergeant Andrew Leaver