Officers made 24 arrests on suspicion of shoplifting in the past week
Main article content
Our officers made 24 arrests in relation to shoplifting last week and 16 people have subsequently been charged with theft offences and other related matters.
Our specialist Business Crime Team will work with officers locally to apply to the courts for criminal behaviour orders against two of them. Three cases are still being investigated.
Seven 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.
A positive test leads to an automatic referral to a specialist drug treatment programme with one of the three drug treatment services we work with in Essex.
Seven people were arrested in the Harlow district between Monday 9 and Sunday 15 October for shop theft. Four were arrested in each of the Chelmsford and Thurrock districts, two each in Braintree and Tendring and one each in Basildon, Maldon and Southend.
Sergeant Christian Denning, of our Business Crime Team, says:
“Most shop theft investigations are carried out by officers locally to bring offenders to justice. “But our team reviews every shoplifting arrest and, where we believe a criminal behaviour order (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. “These can include requirements to attend drug or alcohol treatment programmes.”
Our Business Crime Team is dedicated to supporting businesses and advising them how to stop crimes from happening in the first place, providing security, staff safety, crime prevention, fraud and cyber-crime advice.
Under the Open for business, closed for crime initiative, business crime officers work with retailers and other businesses to encourage them to report crime to us – whether it’s theft of goods or for abusing or assaulting staff – explaining how they can report crime to us and, just as importantly, what will happen when they do.
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.
Of last week’s arrests, no further action was taken against three people.