In the past week, Essex Police officers arrested 20 people on suspicion of shoplifting.
And 14 were subsequently charged with theft offences and other related matters.
Twelve people were arrested in the Colchester district between Monday 30 October and Sunday 5 November for shop theft* - that's 60% of the total.
Four were arrested in Basildon and one in each of Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Southend and Tendring.
Sergeant Christian Denning says:
“Most shop theft investigations are carried out by officers locally to bring offenders to justice. “But our team reviews every shoplifting case and, where we believe a CBO would be justified to help to protect retail staff from repeated abuse from offenders and stores from recurrent offending, we work with our local colleagues to apply to the courts for them. “As well as banning offenders for an extended period of time from the stores they have been targeting, CBOs can include conditions which seek to help divert offenders from their criminal behaviour.”
Christian and his team also work with retailers and other businesses to advise them how to stop crimes from happening in the first place. He says:
“We’re dedicated to supporting businesses across Essex and, through our Open for Business, Closed for Crime initiative, we also work with them to encourage them to report crime to us, whether it’s theft of goods or for abusing or assaulting staff.”
Cases involving three people arrested last week are still being investigated while no further action was taken against another three.
* Arrests for shop theft. This relates to the number of arrests our officers have made. A person may have been arrested more than once for theft from a shop during the time period. And they may have been arrested for more than one offence.
Essex Police Business Crime Team
Our Business Crime Team specialises in supporting businesses, working to build relationships with independent shops and retail chains, explaining how they can report crime to us and, just as importantly, what will happen when they do.
They help to identify risks in the workplace, providing crime prevention, fraud and cyber-crime advice and strengthening links with businesses and partners, including local community safety partnerships, Essex Chambers of Commerce and the Essex Federation of Small Businesses.
Working with the National Business Crime Centre, the team share nationally-identified crime trends and best practice with our business community. And they have also developed a comprehensive guide to business crime prevention which identifies steps business-owners can take to protect themselves and their properties.