PFCC Stephen Mold chairing a retail crime roundtable meeting

New measures are being put in place in Northamptonshire to make the response to retail crime even more effective.

Retailers – both independent and from major chains – business groups, retail crime specialists and Northamptonshire police came together this week for a second roundtable meeting, where they shared ideas and caught up with progress on a range of initiatives to improve business safety.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, who convened the meeting, said that he wanted to ensure that retailers across the county receive a consistent service when they report crime.

The roundtable heard that workshops for retailers have taken place to explain their legal rights in preventing crime. Business Crime Information Packs will now be created and sent to businesses to build on the information shared.

Other, innovative solutions are also under consideration, including extending the loan of mobile robot security cameras – currently available to prevent crime at businesses in rural locations – to retail premises.

Measures to further strengthen the ties between Northamptonshire Police and the Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership are also under consideration. These close links underpin the Northamptonshire Police approach to tackling retail crime, called Operation Elegance, which was raised by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary as a model of good and effective practice.

PFCC Stephen Mold chairing the retail crime roundtable meeting

Operation Elegance has seen increasing number of shoplifters brought to justice, by building a closer working relationship between police, retailers, and other key partners.

Two specialist Retail Crime Evidence Gatherers have been funded by Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and employed by Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership. These investigators are a vital link between police and retailers, working to support businesses, share information and helping to gather evidence after a crime.

Northamptonshire Police now has a dedicated Retail Crime Team, which works closely with the investigators to collect evidence and build cases to target prolific and violent offenders and organised crime gangs.

This close relationship has improved communication, built trust, and increased confidence that retail crime is treated seriously in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said that retailers provide a vital service and deserve the full protection of the law.

“Building strong relationships between the retail sector and police is crucial if we are going to tackle the problems they are facing, which have an impact on everyone. Retail businesses are the backbone of many communities, and I am determined to put measures and structures in place to deal with crimes they are facing, and that their voices are heard in the work we are doing.”

Chief Inspector Carl Wilson, who is head of the Northamptonshire Police Crime Management and Investigation Unit and leads Operation Elegance, said: “We now have a fully embedded Retail Crime Team that will continue to build on the success they have had in the last year. We are going to continue to work closely with the Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership and other partners to make the county a hostile place for anyone wanting to commit retail crime.”

Ali Farr speaking at the Retail Crime Roundtable

Ali Farr, Crime Manager for the Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership (NBCP) said: “We have had some significant results in prosecuting offenders as a result of partnership working and that is because we are all working together, no-one can tackle this problem alone.”