PCC report

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) has published a new report providing case studies that demonstrate the many collaborative and evidence-based approaches being implemented by PCCs around the country.

Tackling Business & Retail Crime In Focus contains 19 different case studies, outlining what steps it is taking to curb crimes against retailers. This comes as an Usdaw report highlighted a rise in attacks against shop workers.

Commenting on the report, the APCC’s National Business and Retail Crime lead and PCC for Sussex, Katy Bourne OBE, said: “ With current levels of retail crime on high streets rising and retail staff facing the consequences of shoplifters’ brazen behaviour, this new ‘In Focus’ report demonstrates how Police and Crime Commissioners are approaching the issue and holding their forces to account for their work to respond to and investigate retail crime as set out within the Government’s Retail Crime Action Plan.”

She explained how PCCs can work to reduce crime in their areas.

“Police and Crime Commissioners are uniquely placed to drive the efforts to tackle business and retail crime successfully in their areas. We can convene both the public and private sectors to identify and respond to the specific challenges impacting the reporting, prevention and investigation of these crimes. PCCs also commission services for victims of crime, which are free of charge to access regardless of whether the victim reports to the police or not. Naturally, PCCs are keen to encourage all victims of retail crime to obtain help if required.”

Bourne also outlined what action is being taken on shoplifting and organised criminal gangs.

“Nationally, all police forces have now signed up to the Retail Crime Action Plan, which clearly sets out how officers should response to shoplifting. PCCs up and down the country can now utilise the Action Plan to hold our forces to account for how they respond and investigate retail crime.

“We also cannot shy away from the increasing and significant threat to retailers from organised criminal gangs (OCGs). These criminals operate across many retailers and multiple police force borders, which is why, last year, I established a unique national business/police partnership called Pegasus to scope the true scale of organised retail crime.”

The report was welcomed by The Fed’s national president Muntazir Dipoti. “We have held numerous meetings with PCCs all over England and Wales to highlight the number of retail crime incidents our members experience day in, day out,” he said. “It is pleasing to discover that the APCC is taking this matter seriously and that police forces are now being held to account in an effort to clamp down on offenders.”

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman added: “We strongly welcome the focus on retail crime in this report, highlighting the work that PCCs are doing across England and Wales to make a difference on retail crime. We’ve been pushing for action to support retailers in reporting and tackling crime for several years, so it is encouraging to see progress being made in this area.

“Implementing the Retail Crime Action Plan is a strong start, but we need to ensure that barriers to reporting are removed and prolific offenders are identified quickly so they can be apprehended by the police and the full extent of their crimes accounted for.”