Monday 15 July 2024
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Police and partners tackle Nottingham city centre shoplifting

The police have teamed up with local businesses and other partners for a day of action in Nottingham aimed at tackling shoplifting and rooting out the causes behind why people do it.

Officers provided a visible presence around Nottingham city centre throughout Tuesday (18 July) – carrying out patrols and other operations in a bid to deter criminals and engage with businesses in the area.

Retail crime

As part of this, local business owners were able to discuss the impact retail crime, namely shop theft, has on their business, as well as the collaborative work the police and its partners are doing to reduce crime.

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In addition to the patrols, officers from the Nottinghamshire Police Prevention Hub’s Crime Prevention team visited local businesses to conduct crime prevention assessments, to help retailers understand how to best protect their properties as well as support investigators in applying for Criminal Behaviour Orders.

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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, theft, burglary and antisocial behaviour.

Know offenders visited

Prolific shoplifters known to the police were also visited and directed to attend a ‘problem-solving drop-in hub’ that same day, where they were able to speak with support agencies to help divert them away from future offending.

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A number of different support schemes were highlighted at the hub, including the Offender to Rehab project, which is supported by retailers and partially funded by Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), and targets helping prolific shoplifters with drug addiction problems turn their lives around.

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In addition to engaging with partners from Framework, Clean Slate and Nottingham City Council about the issues that could be contributing to their lifestyle, such as drugs, attendees, including homeless people, were also able to access free food and hygiene product bags.

Six arrested

As part of the targeted operations during the day of action, six suspects were arrested for different offences, including shoplifting, while one suspect was given a community resolution – an out of court disposal option whereby the offender agrees to engage in education or some form of reparation.

Around 40 people requiring support were also able to benefit from attending the drop-in hub, while the Crime Prevention team engaged with around 100 retailers about retail crime.

Partner organisations

Nottinghamshire’s PCC and Nottingham’s Business Improvement District (BID) were among the partners to support Nottinghamshire Police throughout the Safer Business Action (SaBA) Day.

Only a handful of SaBA days are held nationwide each year, with the police working with businesses, private security firms, business crime reduction partnerships (BCRPs) and business improvement districts (BIDs) to focus their resources to help reduce crime.

Nottingham was one of three areas selected by the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) to hold a SaBA day of action this year, with the days focusing on raising awareness and understanding of the types of crimes that affect businesses, including retail crime.

As part of this, Nottinghamshire Police Chief Superintendent Suk Verma and Nottinghamshire’s PCC Caroline Henry met with business leads and retailers from across the country, where they were able to share best practice from projects that have helped reduce shop thefts in their areas.

The group also engaged with a former offender who had benefited from the Offender to Rehab project, before Ch Supt Verma and the PCC then visited local businesses across Nottingham city centre to speak with them further about the impact of retail crime.

Ch Supt Verma said: “We were delighted to be selected to host a SaBA day of action in Nottingham, and for this to focus on tackling retail crime, which we know has a really detrimental effect on businesses.

“Sadly, shop thefts are common among all police areas and can be really damaging to communities, with the actions of shoplifters directly impacting on people’s livelihoods and causing real misery for residents.

“Clearly, this is not acceptable, which is precisely why it is so important that we work alongside our partners and listen to local businesses, so that we can take action to stop businesses being targeted and divert people away from this type of offending.

“While providing a visible presence on the streets through patrols to deter criminals is one way of doing this, engaging with prolific offenders and supporting them to get back on the right path is also really important.

“Intervention through schemes like the Offender to Rehab project plays a vital role in preventing people from reoffending, so we are pleased to be able to support this going forward, alongside our partners.

“We are absolutely committed as a force to doing whatever we can to eradicate this type of criminality and deal with any reports we receive in an effective and efficient manner, so we hope this day of action will help us do this.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry invited the National Business Crime Centre to hold a SaBA Day in Nottingham after seeing representatives give a presentation at a business crime event held by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners earlier this year.

“Shoplifting is not a victimless crime. Not only does it impact on hard-working shopkeepers and business owners but it also affects customers who ultimately pay the price in higher costs,” said Commissioner Henry.

“The fact the SaBA day is being held here in Nottingham shows just how seriously we take this type of crime and it gives us a great opportunity to showcase to the public all of the work that police and partners are doing to tackle the issue locally.”

Alex Flint, CEO of the Nottingham BID, said: As the business improvement district for Nottingham city centre, we work with over 300 retail members and independent businesses to create a vibrant city centre economy.

“Whilst part of our core business centres around promoting the city, we are also committed to tackling business crime and developing a strong business crime reduction partnership in Nottingham.

“Working collaboratively to support important partnership initiatives like this is extremely important to us – and to our members – to send the message that we recognise its impact and will work together to reduce this.”

Superintendent Patrick Holdaway, of the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC), added: “Shoplifting and violence and abuse against shop workers is never acceptable.

“The NBCC have been working nationally with police, retail, business crime reduction partnerships, business improvement districts and security providers to deliver a series of SaBA Days to deter, disrupt and detain persistent and prolific offenders.

“It’s great to see Nottinghamshire Police supporting the SaBA Day initiative and working with partners to protect retailers in their city centre.”

•  West Bridgford shoplifting halves after police and council initiatives

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