Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping today pledged to get tough on shoplifting as he announced a series of new prevention measures.
Commissioner Tipping announced he had invested more than £20,000 into proactive work aimed at building intelligence on local offenders and helping to secure detections.
He said: “It’s a common misconception that shoplifting is a victimless crime.
“In reality, shoplifting can drive shops out of business, especially small independent outlets which simply can’t afford to absorb these losses into their costs.
“It also results in higher prices for the consumer - something that impacts on us all.
“As Commissioner, I’m working closely with retailers to challenge the view that shoplifting is ‘inevitable’. This crime costs the economy and taxpayers an awful lot of money and it should never be accepted or tolerated.
“I believe prevention is the only answer which is why we’re targeting our work on intelligence-gathering which will help us to stop shoplifting before it happens. For this we need the support of retailers and an ongoing communication channel to build a picture of the risk and threat.”
Commissioner Tipping has committed £10,000 of funding towards Police and Business Crime in Nottinghamshire (PABCIN) - a new, privately-run, board which manages and analyses intelligence relating to low-level crime and liaises with shopkeepers and police to share information.
He is working with most major supermarket chains as part of a partnership approach driven towards making Nottinghamshire a more hostile environment for shoplifters.
He has also committed a further £10,000 from the Prevent funding stream to help fund three dedicated PCSOs to the project to feed information into the system’s database and improve detection capabilities.
The investment comes after the Commissioner funded 20 extra electronic tags specifically for shoplifting prevention purposes, demonstrating how seriously he regards the issue.
The Force has recently studied the offending patterns of 63 offenders which highlighted the limited benefits of prison, especially where sentences are too short. As a response, the Commissioner is focusing attention on the early part of the offending cycle to stop the offence occurring in the first place.
In future, the Commissioner said he will be working very closely with the Reducing Re-offending Partnership over the way shoplifters are monitored to prevent them from entering shops.
He added that GPS tagging can play an important role in prevention work but this requires fine-tuning to enable alerts to be raised as soon as a potential offender enters a retail territory - not when they leave their house.