Force launches week of action to target retail crime
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Police have started a crackdown on things like shoplifting as part of a week of action targeting retail crime.
Community officers from Bedfordshire will be joining retailers, private security and volunteers for operations across the county as part of the Safer Business Action (SaBA) days.
Events and patrols took place in Bedford and Biggleswade yesterday (Monday) to kick the week off, with further work planned elsewhere in the county throughout the week.
Staff from Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye’s office have also joined the officers as part of their ongoing work promoting the Safer Streets project, which is committed to tackling violence against women and girls.
It comes after a man in his 30s was charged with two burglaries from shops after police detained a man following a break-in in Dallow Road, Luton, this weekend.
Sergeant Carl Perri from Bedfordshire Police said: “We are committed to keeping every community in Bedfordshire safe, and this includes our business community.
“It is completely unacceptable that people going out to earn a living could be threatened or abused, or that people’s livelihoods are destroyed by opportunistic thieves.
“We want to send a clear message that we are here to support any business that becomes a victim of crime and will look to prosecute offenders where we can.”
Volunteers from schemes like Street Watch will be joining in the patrols and events as part of the effort to raise awareness of retail crime to staff.
The SaBA days will aim to build awareness among businesses and staff of retail crime as well as building relationships between them and the police.
It comes a month after Mr Akinbusoye ran a conference for businesses in Bedfordshire outlining the support available to them from the force.
“I want Bedfordshire Police to send a clear and unequivocal message to the retail sector that the police are on their side and here to help,” he said.
“As a business owner myself, I know the huge effort it takes to make a success of a commercial enterprise, without the additional worry about whether your staff or your stock is safe and secure.
“The retail sector and wider business community should have full confidence that we are here to support them.”