Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Shoplifting rises 10% as PSNI launches scheme to help retailers

Published 26/08/2015

Angus Miller (left), manager of the Cotswold store in Belfast city centre, with Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble at the launch of the PSNI Safe Shop Scheme
Angus Miller (left), manager of the Cotswold store in Belfast city centre, with Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble at the launch of the PSNI Safe Shop Scheme
The Police Service of Northern Ireland are helping retailers deal with the rise of shoplifting

Shoplifting has increased by 10% in Northern Ireland over the last three years, according to the latest police figures.

Offenders range from the desperate and vulnerable to opportunistic snatch and run thieves or organised crime gangs that can target multiple shops in a single stealing spree.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble, from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said: "Shoplifting is a very real issue for businesses."

Although there has been a reduction in commercial robberies and burglaries, shoplifting now accounts for a quarter of all thefts in Northern Ireland and 6.5% of all recorded crime in the region.

Mr Noble described the rise as "concerning" and said shoplifters were using a variety of tactics.

"It does move from basic grab and leave up to some of the more technological type pieces of equipment to defeat store security," he added. "It is always changing and shifting because quite clearly criminals are quite inventive in their own right."

Mr Noble was speaking at the launch of the PSNI's new Safe Shop Scheme which is being rolled out across Northern Ireland to educate retailers about crime prevention.

Angus Miller, store manager of Cotswold on Castle Lane, Belfast, said his staff were more confident when tackling shoplifters as a result of the initiative.

He said: "Initially they would have been nervous about approaching shoplifters.

"The biggest change now is that, as part of the training process, they have learned how to approach shoplifters once you know they have offended and how to detain them.

"They feel a bit safer doing it and feel more empowered as a result of the scheme."

Retailers wishing to make use of the Safe Shop Scheme should contact 101 and ask to speak to their local crime prevention officer.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph