Officers made 19 arrests on suspicion of shoplifting in the past week
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As part of our ongoing work to target shoplifters and retail crime, officers across Essex arrested 19 people on suspicion of shop theft last week.
And 17 of them have subsequently been charged with theft offences and other related matters.
Eight people arrested also tested positive for Class A drugs under our drug test on arrest scheme, which sees adults we arrest for acquisitive crimes, such as shop theft, required to take a saliva test for cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin.
“Thanks to our Open for business, closed for crime campaign, retail staff now have more confidence to report theft and anti-social behaviour. “This enables us to identify emerging issues and we can work with businesses to mitigate risk. “And it can provide evidence of patterns of offending behaviour which can be used in court to apply for CBOs to be imposed on persistent and prolific shoplifters.” Sergeant Christian Denning, of our Business Crime Team
Between 16 and 22 October, four people were arrested for shop theft in the Braintree district and three in Colchester. Two were arrested in each of Basildon, Epping Forest, Harlow and Southend and one in each of Castle Point, Tendring, Thurrock and Uttlesford districts.
Essex Police officers made 1,147 arrests for shop theft* in the year to 30 September 2023. And officers solved 514 more offences – a 26.2% increase – than they did in the previous 12 months.
Our Business Crime Team reviews every arrest for shop theft and will be seeking criminal behaviour orders against two of the people arrested.
Criminal behaviour orders (CBOs) are designed to tackle the most serious and persistent anti-social individuals where their behaviour has brought them before a criminal court.
CBOs also tackle the underlying causes of offending and, where appropriate, require offenders to engage in treatment services, such as drug and alcohol addiction support.
It is an offence to breach the terms of a CBO and courts can impose a maximum sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment or a fine, or both, for an adult convicted of breaching them.
One person was issued with a community resolution after their arrest last week and the case involving another is still being investigated.
Community resolutions enable the police to deal with certain offences and offenders outside the formal criminal justice process. The victim and the investigating officer decide on the appropriate resolution, which ranges from apologising to the victim or offering to pay compensation to clearing up graffiti or repairing criminal damage.
The offender must admit their guilt but a CR is not classed as a conviction and doesn’t result in a criminal record. However, the fact someone has been subject to a CR can be taken into consideration if further offences are committed.
* 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.