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Shoplifting operation focuses on West Bridgford and Nottingham city

A Nottinghamshire operation aimed at targeting business crime and keeping retail staff safe from harm has been taking place throughout March.

As part of the National Business Crime Centre’s national month of action, Nottinghamshire Police have conducted two Safer Business Action Days (SaBA) in West Bridgford and Nottingham city centre.

Shoplifting

The events, which saw dozens of uniformed officers patrolling the streets, are designed to engage retailers, discuss pertinent issues, and establish solutions to shared concerns.

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A third SaBA day is taking place in Mansfield on March 19, with a fourth set to take place across North Nottinghamshire on March 26.

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The initiative has brought together charities, supermarkets, businesses, and independent retailers to improve the areas for residents by tackling retail crime and antisocial behaviour.

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In West Bridgford, the Co-op hosted an extended Shop Watch meeting, which is a joint approach to tackle the risks associated with business crime, with input from the force’s Prevention Hub, store managers, and security staff.

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High-visibility patrols were conducted by the neighbourhood policing team and priority crime team alongside crime prevention visits to retailers on March 6, where two shoplifters were detained.

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Rough Sleeping

Officers also took part in joint outreach work and agency meetings to support rough sleepers and signpost them to access housing alongside Rushcliffe Borough Council, Change Grow Live, the Friary, Framework, and NHS.

Inspector Tim Cuthbert, the neighbourhood policing lead for Rushcliffe, said: “Retail crime is an area where we are having a real impact in Rushcliffe.

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Rushcliffe Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Tim Cuthbert

“Six of our most prolific offenders are now subject to criminal behaviour orders prohibiting them from entering various stores in West Bridgford. They must also engage in rehabilitation sessions.

“We are also really pleased that Aldi and Lidl have signed up to join our crime prevention Shop Watch programme, which strengthens and widens our business crime partnership.”

Nottingham city centre

In Nottingham city centre, police officers, PCSOs, and business engagement officers from ‘It’s in Nottingham’ engaged with businesses alongside crime prevention officers.

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The day featured a business crime forum where regional and local retail leaders could speak with officers to discuss trends and improve the reporting of crime.

Around 100 businesses across the city centre were also visited and asked to complete a crime survey to raise any concerns on March 14.

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During the targeted action, four men were arrested for separate offences including shop theft and being drunk and disorderly.

Support for vulnerable people

A team of officers also held a multi-agency hub to support vulnerable people in making lifestyle changes to break offending cycles by providing hygiene products, food, hot drinks, and free haircuts via a volunteer barber.

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Inspector Ollie Vale, from the force’s Prevention Hub, said: “Nottinghamshire Police fully supports our retail partners and associations such as ‘It’s in Nottingham’ and Mansfield Business Improvement District with our days of action.

“The commitment and professionalism on these days have been well received both by partners and internally and I want to pass on my thanks to all the partners, officers, and in particular the volunteers involved in making these days a success.

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“Raising awareness and supporting businesses around the violence and abuse that is all too often directed towards those who work in retail is vital, which is why we are taking positive action to address this.

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“I would not expect the officers and staff of Nottinghamshire Police to come to work and be subjected to this level of abuse and violence, likewise I would not expect those in retail to come to work and be abused or assaulted in the same way.

“This is why we are committed to supporting our retailers and making sure people see the impact on the person behind the organisation and uniform.”

Rushcliffe | Police inspector updates the community on successes and new priorities

Co-op | Shoplifter banned from West Bridgford and the Meadows stores for two years

Shop Watch | Scheme rolls out in Nottinghamshire town to tackle shoplifting

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