Business Crime Action Week will help the retail sector in Wiltshire & Swindon
Main article content
Wiltshire Police, in partnership with The National Business Crime Centre (NBCC), is taking part in a national week of action and holding Safer Business Action (SaBA) days to support businesses and reduce crime and particularly shoplifting across Wiltshire & Swindon.
The week of action started on Monday October 16 and involves Wiltshire Police engaging with retailers and communities to raise awareness of business crime in the area and holding targeted operation.
Chief Constable Catherine Roper, said: “The SaBA days are a great opportunity to increase engagement with retail businesses and tackle some of the most prolific offenders when it comes to shoplifting and violence against business owners and staff.”
“In the past 12 months (Sept 22- Aug 23) we have had 4050 reported incidents of shoplifting but we know this is just a fraction of all crimes. Under reporting is widely acknowledged by the retail sector to be between 16% and 38% with the large supermarkets facing the brunt of the thefts.”
“We constantly work with our retailers and concentrate on the issues important to them and this week we are working to highlight their concerns and introduce Business Watch to the wider business communities. The resources deployed may not only be police but with partner agencies. Through greater information sharing there is the opportunity to further disrupt and arrest prolific offenders, prevent violence and antisocial behaviour and provide reassurance to the public and businesses.”
Each Community Policing Team will deliver focussed operations with targeted interventions and public engagement activity to raise awareness of the growing problem. Advice and support will be available to retailers in the form of crime and violence prevention advice and the opportunity to join the Force-wide Business Watch initiative through the Community Messaging system and yesterday over 100 retailers did so. The public will also be asked to be alert and help report shoplifting offences to shop staff or directly to Wiltshire Police.
Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson, said: “: “It is vitally important that Wiltshire Police deliver a quality police service and respond to all those who are a victim of crime and need help.
“With more than 4,000 shoplifting offences reported in the last year, the need for Wiltshire Police to be robust and proactive when dealing with this sort of crime - using a more strategic, and embedded, approach, as part the Force’s overall policing response - has never been more evident.
“Just because business crime appears to be victimless does not make it any less of a crime. After recently hearing from the retail sector, from local shopkeepers to bigger corporate organisations, it is clear to me that they do have a right to feel frustrated – especially when they do not receive an expected level of response when they report crimes.
“As ever, I will continue to engage with local businesses, listen to their concerns and scrutinise the police response on their behalf, alongside encouraging other partners, such as local authorities, to look more closely at how we can all work together more effectively to tackle this growing problem.”