Officers arrest 28 people on suspicion of shoplifting in a week
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Twenty-eight people have been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting in the past week as we continue to tackle thefts from retailers.
Six people were arrested in Southend, with five detained in each of Chelmsford, Harlow and Colchester.
Eleven of those arrested also tested positive for Class A drugs. Under our drug test on arrest scheme, adults accused of acquisitive crimes such as shoplifting are required to take a saliva test that will reveal whether they’ve taken cocaine, heroin or crack.
A positive test leads to an automatic referral to a specialist drug treatment programme with one of the three charities we work with.
Our Business Crime Team review every shoplifting arrest and encourage retailers to report all thefts and assaults of shop staff.
The team then work with local officers to apply to court for Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBO) to tackle persistent offenders.
CBOs also tackle the underlying causes of offending and may 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 those arrested in the past week, three have been issued CBOs, one offender is already subject to a CBO and a further seven cases are under review.
Sergeant Christian Denning of the Business Crime Team said:
“We are protecting retailers by targeting the individuals responsible for repeated thefts and limiting their ability to reoffend.
“People with drug issues may turn to stealing to fund their addiction so by getting them onto a treatment programme, we are helping to change their behaviour and tackling the cause of their offending.
“Shoplifting is a not a low-level crime because the proceeds can feed into a bigger network of criminality.
“By collaborating with local businesses and our partners in the community, we are combatting crime and anti-social behaviour and making our high streets safe and pleasant places to visit.”
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.
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