Officers across Teesside are demonstrating the work they carry out every day to tackle shoplifting and other retail crime, as part of Safer Business Action Week which runs from Monday 16th October to Sunday 22nd October.
As part of the week of action, officers are setting up pop-up stalls in shops to engage with shop workers and shoppers, giving crime prevention advice and listening to concerns.
There will be a high visibility presence in shopping centres, retail parks and supermarkets, whilst officers go out to arrest the most wanted shoplifters across Teesside.
Chief Inspector Pete Littlewood, Cleveland Police's operational lead on retail crime said: "With our town centres, retail parks, supermarkets and particularly local convenience stores suffering from an increase in people stealing from their stores, the force is proactive in its approach to preventing, reducing and catching those who regularly steal from shops. Neighbourhood teams work closely with retailers, encouraging them to report crime when it happens, offering crime prevention advice, and ensuring that we have a clear picture of what is happening through the offer of retail crime forums.
"Efforts are also made to arrest the top five shoplifters each week, and officers regularly carry out problem solving work to prevent reoffending by making applications for Criminal Behaviour Orders. The Neighbourhood Teams take part in regular weeks of action to target retail crime, with a visible policing presence in shopping centres and engagement activity with both retailers and shoppers.
“Store owners and staff are expected to make reasonable steps to protect their own staff and stock and are actively encouraged to train all staff to operate CCTV, respond to investigative requests from officers, encourage staff to provide witness statements, take advice from the force’s Crime Prevention Officers with regards to store layout and stock placement, and to contribute to Retail Crime Forums.
"All reports of shoplifting reported to Cleveland Police are recorded so that our statistics provide a full and frank picture of the scale of the problem across the force area. Where there are solvability factors such as a named suspect, CCTV evidence, witnesses or other reasonable lines of enquiry, then the report will be investigated.
"Cleveland’s charge and detection rate for shoplifting is above the national average, with 23.8% of reports ending in a charge to court, compared to an average of 18.8% nationally. Whilst much work remains to be done in dealing with the issue of retail crime, those figures are testament to the work Cleveland Police Officers do to tackle the problem.”