Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry helped bring together business owners last week to discuss the impact of retail crime and ways to reduce it in the future.
Retailers from across the country joined in the discussion with Commissioner Henry and Nottinghamshire Police’s Chief Superintendent Suk Verma at John Lewis in the Victoria Centre.
Commissioner Henry invited the National Business Crime Centre to hold a Safer Business Action (SaBA) Day in Nottingham after seeing representatives give a presentation at a business crime event held by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners earlier this year.
Nottingham was one of three areas selected by the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) to hold a SaBA day of action this year, with the days focusing on raising awareness and understanding of the types of crimes that affect businesses, including retail crime.
Part of the day saw prolific shoplifters known to the police being visited and directed to attend a ‘problem-solving drop-in hub’, where they were able to speak with support agencies to help divert them away from future offending.
A number of different support schemes were highlighted at the hub, including the Offender to Rehab project, which is partially funded by The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire and targets helping shoplifters with drug addiction problems turn their lives around.
A former offender who had benefitted from the project was in attendance to explain how it had helped him to move forward with his life in a positive way.
Commissioner Henry said: “Shoplifting is not a victimless crime. Not only does it impact on hard-working shopkeepers and business owners but it also affects customers who ultimately pay the price in higher costs.
“The fact the SaBA day is being held here in Nottingham shows just how seriously we take this type of crime and it gives us a great opportunity to showcase to the public all of the work that police and partners are doing to tackle the issue locally.”
The day also saw officers provide a visible presence around the city centre throughout Tuesday (18 July) – carrying out patrols and other operations in a bid to deter criminals and engage with businesses in the area.
In addition to the patrols, officers from Nottinghamshire Police's prevention team visited local businesses to conduct crime prevention assessments, to help retailers understand how to best protect their properties.
Ch Supt Verma said: “Sadly, shop thefts are common among all police areas and can be really damaging to communities, with the actions of shoplifters directly impacting on people’s livelihoods and causing real misery for residents.
“Clearly, this is not acceptable, which is precisely why it is so important that we work alongside our partners and listen to local businesses, so that we can take action to stop businesses being targeted and divert people away from this type of offending.
“Intervention through schemes like the Offender to Rehab project plays a vital role in preventing people from reoffending, so we are pleased to be able to support this going forward, alongside our partners.”
Alex Flint, CEO of the Nottingham BID, added: "As the business improvement district for Nottingham city centre, we work with over 300 retail members and independent businesses to create a vibrant city centre economy.
"Whilst part of our core business centres around promoting the city, we are also committed to tackling business crime and developing a strong business crime reduction partnership in Nottingham.
"Working collaboratively to support important partnership initiatives like this is extremely important to us - and to our members - to send the message that we recognise its impact and will work together to reduce this."
Superintendent Patrick Holdaway, of the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC), said: “Shoplifting and violence and abuse against shop workers is never acceptable.
"The NBCC have been working nationally with police, retail, business crime reduction partnerships, business improvement districts and security providers to deliver a series of SaBA Days to deter, disrupt and detain persistent and prolific offenders.
"It’s great to see Nottinghamshire Police supporting the SaBA Day initiative and working with partners to protect retailers in their city centre.”
Posted on Wednesday 26th July 2023