Our officers made 23 arrests in relation to shoplifting last week and 12 people have subsequently been charged with theft offences and other related matters.
Specialist business crime officers will work with officers locally to apply to the courts for a criminal behaviour order against one of them and to vary the conditions of another. A third will be reported for breaching her CBO.
Sergeant Christian Denning, of our Business Crime Team, says:
“Our team reviews every arrest for shop theft while local officers investigate the offences. “And, where applying to the courts for a CBO to be imposed on an offender will help to protect retail staff from repeated abuse and stores from recurrent offending, we work with the investigator to achieve this. “CBOs include conditions which ban offenders for long periods of time from the stores they target. “And these orders can also include requirements to attend drug or alcohol treatment programmes, which seek to help divert offenders from their criminal behaviour. “There are similar requirements for those who test positive for Class A drugs under our drug test on arrest scheme in custody. Last week, six people arrested for shop theft tested positive for cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin after being required to take a saliva test. “We want to break the cycle of offending, where people steal to feed their addictions, by placing them on rehabilitation programmes. These are vulnerable people and we are focused on working with our partners to address their needs.”
Between 23 and 29 October, three people were arrested in each of the Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow and Southend districts; two in each of the Braintree, Castle Point and Thurrock districts; and one in each of Basildon, Brentwood, Rochford and Tendring districts plus one at Stansted Airport.
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.
One person was issued with a community resolution after their arrest last week and the cases involving eight others are still being investigated. Two arrests resulted in no further action.
* 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.
What are criminal behaviour orders and community resolutions?
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.
Community resolutions (CRs) 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.
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.