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    Police acknowledge significant threat to retailers from organised gangs

    Photo: iStock

    Law enforcement cannot shy away from the increasing and significant threat to retailers from organised criminal gangs, a police lead has said as Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) published a report detailing the approach by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to tackle retail crime across England and Wales.

    In its recently-released “Tackling Business & Retail Crime In Focus” report, APCC has included a range of case studies that demonstrate the many collaborative and evidence-based approaches being implemented by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to successfully address retail crime across England and Wales, and to protect retailers and the public.

    The APCC’s National Business and Retail Crime lead and PCC for Sussex, Katy Bourne OBE, said, “With current levels of retail crime on high streets rising and retail staff facing the consequences of shoplifters’ brazen behaviour, this new ‘In Focus’ report demonstrates how Police and Crime Commissioners are approaching the issue and holding their forces to account for their work to respond to and investigate retail crime as set out within the government’s Retail Crime Action Plan.

    “The British Retail Consortium’s recent crime survey showed a 50 per cent increase in the levels of retail violence and abuse – to 1,300 incidents a day – with the cost of theft to retailers rising to £1.8 billion (from £953 million the previous year). It is now, more than ever, that policing needs to work effectively with businesses to tackle this deluge of shop thefts, assaults, and criminality.

    “Police and Crime Commissioners are uniquely placed to drive the efforts to tackle business and retail crime successfully in their areas. We can convene both the public and private sectors to identify and respond to the specific challenges impacting the reporting, prevention and investigation of these crimes. PCCs also commission services for victims of crime, which are free of charge to access regardless of whether the victim reports to the police or not. Naturally, PCCs are keen to encourage all victims of retail crime to obtain help if required.

    “Nationally, all police forces have now signed up to the Retail Crime Action Plan, which clearly sets out how officers should response to shoplifting. PCCs up and down the country can now utilise the Action Plan to hold our forces to account for how they respond and investigate retail crime.

    “We also cannot shy away from the increasing and significant threat to retailers from organised criminal gangs (OCGs). These criminals operate across many retailers and multiple police force borders, which is why, last year, I established a unique national business/police partnership called Pegasus to scope the true scale of organised retail crime.”

    Tackling Business & Retail Crime In Focus report  is on the APCC website and can be viewed and/or downloaded. 

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