Ben Adams meets with members of staff from Co-op Norton

Tackling business crime remains a priority for Staffordshire Commissioner

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime Ben Adams visited a Co-op store in Norton to hear from retail staff about how shoplifting impacts on them and the business as a whole.

The visit was an opportunity to talk to staff about their concerns, as well as also sharing with them some of the work underway by Staffordshire Police to tackle the issue.

Between January and December last year, the store had reported 28 crimes, with all but one relating to theft. After reporting the incidents to the Police and sharing CCTV images, 23 of these crimes resulted in an offender being identified and charged – an impressive 82% detection rate.

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime Ben Adams said: “Business crime is far from ‘victimless’ – it can damage people’s lives and livelihoods, and have a negative impact on our wider communities.

“Shoplifting is a serious issue across the country as a whole but in Staffordshire, although it remains a concern, we are not seeing the same level of problems as other areas.

“It’s essential to build strong relationships between businesses and the Police, so we can work together to reduce business crime and shoplifting on our high streets. It’s vital that any incidents are reported, and officers will always respond quickly if there’s a threat of violence or assault.”

Inspector Hayley Eaton, from Stoke North local policing team, said: “It’s pleasing to see that a large majority of the reported crimes at this particular store have resulted in charges. We want to continue acting on reports, policing our streets proactively and working with partners to protect businesses across the city.

“We want detection rates to be as close to 100 per cent as possible and we can only do this by working closely with businesses and business owners. Those who are blighting shops financially and causing concern within our communities with their offending will be targeted and dealt with.”

Paul Gerrard, Co-op Campaigns, Public Affairs and Board Secretariat Director, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime into our store to hear first-hand from our colleagues, and to see how the serious issue of retail crime, which impacts our communities so dramatically, is being prioritised.

“It is both welcome and reassuring, and illustrates that where co-operation exists, this is a solvable issue. Co-op invests significantly into colleague and store safety, but we very urgently need to see action in stores from all forces, so the criminals start to realise there are real consequences to their actions.”

For advice and information on how to prevent shoplifting and other business crimes, visit: Business crime prevention | Staffordshire Police

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