Thursday 13 June 2024
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Clifton: Undercover security guards to support police in shoplifting crackdown

Police and business partners will combine high-visibility patrols and covert security to crack down on shoplifting in a Nottingham neighbourhood.

The dual approach is being introduced in Clifton to address concerns in the community about shop theft and to target the prolific criminals responsible for the vast majority of offending.

Patrols by uniformed officers will take place regularly around hotspots for retail crime to provide reassurance to staff and shoppers.

A similar operation in nearby Sneinton has seen a 42 per cent decrease in shoplifting offences.

Alongside the patrols, officers are working closely with businesses to enhance their own security – including increased use of covert security guards within stores.

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Inspector Steve Dalby, neighbourhood policing inspector for Clifton, said: “We are working hard to make sure Clifton’s local shops continue to be places people want to visit to spend their money and help the community thrive.

“Shoplifting can have an impact both on businesses and the wider community. We understand shop staff need our support and people using their stores need to feel safe. So I hope an increase in targeted patrols will help to reassure residents how seriously we take the issue.

“Around 80 per cent of all shop thefts are committed by a very small number of persistent offenders. By targeting resources at these prolific criminals we are already seeing some very promising results.

“Prison sentences have been handed down to a number of persistent offenders in Clifton in recent months and the force is also pursuing criminal behaviour orders, which allow swift and robust action if offenders repeat their behaviour.

“CBOs are used to ban offenders from certain areas and give officers the power of arrest if breached.

“The force has priority crime teams and Operation Reacher teams who are focusing on these persistent offenders across the city, including in Clifton.

“We also recognise, however, that retail crime is an issue that requires partnership working.

“The collaborative work that is taking place between officers and our business partners has provided us with new opportunities to identify those committing the most harm in our retail communities.

“Key to this is an increased reporting of retail crime by businesses, which has enabled us to gain a more accurate picture of the extent of the problem and, as a result of our intelligence sharing with security teams, we have been able to identify persistent offenders and deal with them appropriately.”

Officers from the Nottinghamshire Police Prevention Hub’s Crime Prevention team are also visiting local businesses across the city to conduct crime prevention assessments, to help retailers understand how to best protect their properties as well as support applications for CBOs.

The prevention hub was recently set up and specialises in sharing best practice as well as the latest crime reduction measures and initiatives to address various types of crime, including business crime.

Insp Dalby added: “Covert guarding within stores is an important tool for stores to protect themselves as we know offenders are deterred by this approach and it can also provide further valuable intelligence which can be shared with officers.

“We are hopeful this joint approach will see significant results but will continue to look at fresh ways to work with our partners to tackle the issue of shoplifting in our neighbourhoods.

“I would urge businesses with particular concerns to get in touch with us.”

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