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Police wear hoodies and use shopping trolleys to tackle begging and ASB at retail park

A Nottingham retail park targeted by shoplifters, beggars and those causing anti-social behaviour is tackled by police.

Residents and businesses have aired concerns about Castle Retail Park in Radford.

Officers carried out a day of action with many more planned across other retail parks in the city.

Shoplifting equates to around 10 per cent of the Force’s overall crime figures and can mean some businesses close as a result of persistent offenders.

A new shop watch scheme is being launched at the Castle Retail Park with businesses working much closer with the police.

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Police also have the mugshots of around 25 prolific offenders and will use banning orders, also known as CBOs, to prevent those returning to the area for up to three years if they continue to commit crime.

Castle Retail Park has had a significant amount of shoplifting offences between January to May this year.

Uniformed and plain-clothed officers carried out the operation on Wednesday 3 May.

Officers positioned themselves at the three main entrances and exits as well as having plain-clothed officers in the stores.

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Disguised in jeans and hoodies with shopping trolleys as props they made sure the area was clear of shoplifters and beggars.

Only a few minutes into the operation a man who had just been released from prison and is wanted for three shop thefts was seen loitering around the streets of Radford.

He was on his way to play basketball when police pulled him over.

He was put in cuffs and arrested and also found to be in breach of his licensing conditions. Another wanted man was also arrested in connection with a commercial burglary incident.

 

Other people begging or causing anti-social behaviour were handed dispersal orders.

Sergeant Jordan Hinds, who is the City Retail Crime Lead, said: “Shoplifting and begging has a massive impact on the city and often these crimes are committed to fund a substance addiction.

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“Officers will look to support and signpost any person with an addiction to help make positive changes to their lifestyle. This will then impact on drug dealers who fill our streets with mamba, crack cocaine and heroin which is destroying lives.

“We want Castle Retail Park to be a place where people can visit without being pestered for change outside stores or feel unsafe.

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“We are working very closely with staff security and hope days of action like this will make offenders realise this isn’t a place they can visit to commit crime and cause problems for staff and customers.

“There are excellent businesses here that are very well used and are a massive benefit to the city and we want them to operate without constant fear that shoplifters will strike. It is also important that we protect staff if they find themselves abused or assaulted by these known offenders.

“Hopefully operations like this will improve public confidence – that we know there is an issue, we are listening to the local community and acting on these concerns with positive results.”

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