Officers arrest 29 on suspicion of shoplifting in a week
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In the past week, Essex Police officers have arrested 29 people on suspicion of shoplifting.
And 19 were subsequently charged with theft offences and other related matters.
Cases involving seven of them are still being investigated and two more accepted community resolutions from police officers. No further action was taken against one person.
Seven people were arrested in Chelmsford district between Monday 18 and Sunday 24 September for shop theft. Five were arrested in the Colchester district, three in each of the Southend and Thurrock districts, two people in each of the Basildon, Braintree and Brentwood districts, three at Stansted Airport, one in Maldon and one in Tendring.
Sgt Christian Denning, of our Business Crime Team, says:
“We’re a specialist team, dedicated to supporting businesses and advising them how to stop crimes from happening in the first place. “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. “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 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.”
Of the 29 people arrested last week, our Business Crime Team will be seeking criminal behaviour orders against two of them and another will be subject of a request to vary the terms of their current criminal behaviour order.
Community behaviour orders 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 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.