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Police and retailers united in crackdown against shoplifting and shopworker abuse, says Commissioner

Published on Friday 9 February 2024

Angelique Foster, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, has outlined the tough new approaches being taken to protect retailers and their frontline staff from crime. 


Since her election, the Commissioner has continually pushed for retail and business crime to be treated with the seriousness it deserves, challenging the force to deliver a more effective response to crimes such as shoplifting and abuse against shopworkers. 

As part of her commitment to tackling business and retail crime across Derbyshire, the Commissioner was one of the key speakers at the Safer Business Action (SaBA) day in Chesterfield which brought together key partners, retailers and business owners. Throughout her presentation, the Commissioner explained the work she has done to push for more robust enforcement around offences like shoplifting and abuse towards retail workers and set out how increasing partnership working is vital to reducing business and retail crime.

Meeting directly with business owners and retailers, the Commissioner visited several stores, ranging from independent shops to multi-national companies to hear first-hand their concerns and issues regarding the rise of retail crime and how it is affecting their business.

The Commssioner, who made supporting all victims of crime a priority in her Police and Crime Plan, offered her full backing to the recent Stop Shop Theft campaign led by business groups including the Association of Convenience Stores, the British Retail Consortium and the British Independent Retail Association. The Campaign calls on Police and Crime Commissioners to commit to delivering the national Retail Crime Action Plan in their areas, make it easy to report shop theft and establish a single point of contact for all retailers.

The Commissioner has increased engagement with retailers and businesses and is already working closely with Derbyshire Constabulary on the development of a robust Retail Crime Strategy to increase the safety of frontline workers, retailers and businesses, and to deter anti-social behaviour (ASB) and crime in city and town centres across Derbyshire.

The strategy has increased the use of Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) to tackle retail crime and ASB and has also improved the way business crime is recorded to ensure offences such as assaults and criminal damage against retail workers are labelled correctly to increase the police response.

Additionally, the Commissioner secured £4.4m from the Home Office to deliver extra ‘hotspot' policing patrols across Derbyshire and Derby City.

The Commissioner's funding has secured a BCRP Coordinator post who has assisted in the roll-out of ShopWatch Groups across key retail areas. 

The BCRP provides businesses with a raft of measures to help them tackle crime and disorder and facilitate ShopWatch Groups including a radio system that enables members to directly contact each other and the Town Centre CCTV Control Room to report incidents or suspicious activity. Where necessary, CCTV operators will alert the Police and monitor developing situations using any available cameras.

The radio network is supported by DISC - an intelligence data sharing app allowing members to view photo galleries, access and share intelligence, submit incident and crime reports on a bespoke system purposely designed for retailers and businesses.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: "Businesses and retailers have a right to expect an effective police response. They bring value to our communities, providing jobs and supporting the economy.

"Shoplifting is a national issue and there is growing evidence of the involvement of organised criminal gangs. The increasing pattern of violence and abuse against retail workers is also a serious concern and I continue raise these issues at the highest level.

"We must take a harder approach and dedicate more resources to helping businesses protect their staff and livelihoods from criminals and this is exactly what we have been doing in Derbyshire, in partnership with retailers themselves.

"We are investing in new tools and technology to arm businesses with the practical means to prevent crime, reduce their risk and to support each other. We are also listening carefully to retailers and businesses about what needs to change.

"There is more to do. I would encourage businesses to report all incidents of shoplifting and abuse to the police and provide evidence where possible. I have made it clear I expect the force to investigate retail crime effectively to ensure offenders are held to account for their actions. It is by having all crime reported that the police can build local officers intelligence of where hotspots are and can direct their resources appropriately."

The Commissioner recently became a board member of the East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre which is a collaboration between police, business and academia, working together to protect SME organisations from the ever-present risks of online fraud and data theft.

Businesses can report crime online at https://www.derbyshire.police.uk/ or by phoning the non-emergency 101 number, or 999 in an emergency. The online crime reporting system allows businesses to upload CCTV stills of suspects and detailed information in relation to the incident. Where violence has been used and/or the perpetrator has been detained, always call 999.




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