Shoplifters to feature in rogues gallery in major crackdown on crime

Retail Shoplifting. Man Stealing In Supermarket. Theft At Shop

Top shops on the high street want to crack down on shoplifting(Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Top shops from across the UK are joining a police partnership to try and stop shoplifting by organised gangs.

Big high street names such as Boots, John Lewis, Next, Primark and major supermarket chains are all taking part in Project Pegasus.

The initiative, which has the backing of the Home Office, wants to share intelligence across a single platform to better identify repeat offenders.

So far 13 major retailers have pledged £840,000 to fund a new team of police officers and analysts, run by North Wales Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman.

Shoplifting is up 25% compared to this time last year (Picture: SWNS)

Their job will be to build a ‘comprehensive intelligence picture of the organised crime gangs that fuel many shoplifting incidents across the country, to help target and dismantle them’.

This will include sharing a rogues gallery of digital images of offenders across a centralised database.

It comes as the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that shoplifting is up 25% on last year.

The idea for the sharing of information was the brainchild of Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)is behind Pegasus (Picture: DAVID HARTLEY/REX Shutterstock)

She said: ‘Pegasus will be a game changer in the fight against retail crime providing for the first time, an accurate national picture of the organised groups from local families to cross border criminals driving organised shop theft. 

‘Retailers will agree ways to capture information that can be shared and analysed to create intelligence packages for police forces to target and track perpetrators.

‘I am very grateful to all the contributors to Pegasus and to Mitie in particular for helping to get Pegasus airborne.’

Crime and Policing Minister, Chris Philp MP said Pegasus was part of a new ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to shoplifting.

He said: ‘It is a blight on our highstreets and communities and puts the livelihoods of traders at risk. I am determined to drive forward change. 

Shops are having to take drastic measure to avoid losing valuable goods (Picture: SWNS)

‘While it is encouraging to see a 29% increase in charges for shoplifting in the past year, the rise in offending is unacceptable and there is much more to do to stop it happening in the first place.

‘That’s why we’re taking action and bringing together government, policing and business to commit to smarter, more joined up working when it comes to retail crime, which will help to drive down criminal behavior and rebuild public confidence in the police response when it does occur.’

Other retailers involved include Tesco, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Lidl and B&Q.

Nicki Juniper, Head of Security for the John Lewis Partnership said: ‘While there’s no silver bullet for tackling retail crime, we welcome this significant step forward. Retail crime is not victimless, it has an impact on partners, customers and on prices.

‘We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with police …read more

Source:: Metro


(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *