There has been a surge in shoplifting in the Huddersfield area with crimes increasing at more than five times the average rate.

An exclusive analysis of crime figures by the Examiner has revealed the scale of the problem within the area ,with instances of shoplifting increasing by 14.1 per cent in Kirklees in the past year.

There were 2,581 recorded cases of shoplifting in Kirklees in the 12 months up to and including June 2015, an increase of more than 300 compared to the previous 12-month period.

This means that the equivalent of one in every 167 people from the area shoplifted in the 12 months to June 2015 compared to the national the average of one in every 175 people across England and Wales.

But police say the problem is one that is being tackled. A special pre-Christmas initiative was hailed a success with dozens of arrests.

Plain-clothes officers mingled with shoppers in the town centre, to watch out for thieves and pickpockets.

In Calderdale over the same period, there were 987 reports of shoplifting.

Across the whole of England and Wales there were 327,925 cases of shoplifting in the year up to and including June 2015.

READ MORE: Police make arrests in Christmas crackdown on pickpockets and thieves in Huddersfield

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This was a rise of 2.6 per cent when compared to the 12 months to June 2014 and is 8.5 per cent more compared to the year to June 2012.

Lincoln emerged as the nation’s capital of shoplifting with the equivalent of one in every 61 people from the area committing the crime in the year to June 2015.

Westminster was second with the equivalent of one in every 62 people committing the crime.

At the other end of the scale South Cambridgeshire was the least likely place for shoplifting to take place with the equivalent of one in every 1,207 people committing the crime over the same period.

The figures were compiled from data tables released by the Government.

In unrelated investigations, police would like to speak to the people pictured in the image gallery below. The people pictured in the images may be witnesses as well as suspects. If you recognise anyone, contact police on 101 quoting the reference number on the image caption.