Efforts to tackle shoplifting and reduce reoffending in Nottinghamshire have been recognised on a national level with two nominations received for awards.
It comes after a range of methods were introduced in Nottinghamshire focusing on enforcement, prevention, and rehabilitation.
Between January to August 2023, Nottinghamshire Police officers have attended more than 1,000 incidents of shoplifting and charged shoplifters with 1,454 offences, meaning that positive outcomes now sit at 25 percent in Nottinghamshire.
The Offender to Rehab project, which is funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire and part of the retail sector, has also enabled fast-tracked rehabilitation to be offered to a number of local offenders with substance misuse problems.
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “Shoplifting has a huge impact on hard-working shopkeepers and business owners, while also affecting customers who ultimately pay the price in higher costs further down the line.
“Working together with businesses shows how seriously we take retail crime and by sharing experiences we can help reduce the number of shoplifting offences and make stores more secure.
“Here in Nottinghamshire we want to educate those responsible and show what damage it does, while setting them on the right path via the Offender to Rehab project.”
The recognition for action being taken in Nottinghamshire comes as shoplifting has risen significantly across the country as the cost of living has an impact.
Earlier this month, Paul Gerrard, Co-op’s campaigns and public affairs director, also hailed the work done by Nottinghamshire Police to tackle retail crime on BBC’s Breakfast show.
Nottinghamshire Police has now introduced its own priority retail crime team in the city with plans to expand the offer across the county.
However, the focus has not been entirely on enforcement but strong partnership work with businesses.
This has included a strategic group made up of police officers and retailers to share intelligence on those causing the most harm to businesses.
Commissioner Henry invited the National Business Crime Centre to hold a Safer Business Action (SaBA) Day in Nottingham in July of this year after seeing representatives give a presentation at a business crime event held by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.
Retailers from across the country joined in a discussion with Commissioner Henry and Nottinghamshire Police’s Chief Superintendent Suk Verma at John Lewis in the Victoria Centre.
Part of the day also 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.
Chief Superintendent Verma, Head of Local Policing, said: “Shoplifting is a huge issue because evidence suggest that it can fuel substance misuse addiction and can lead to other criminality such as lining the pockets of drug dealers.
“There is a perception that shoplifting is a victimless crime and against a faceless corporation. This could not be further from the truth.
“Our local people work in these shops, and they should not have to go to work with fear of being threatened, intimidated, attacked, or watch this type of behaviour take place.
“The more people entrenched in substance misuse the more desperate they will be to get their fix and we need to break that reoffending cycle.
“We also want to build trust and confidence across the retail sector that if a crime happens in their store, then we will respond.”
Posted on Friday 6th October 2023