Monday, July 15, 2024

Fifty suspects arrested across the county for shoplifting

ESSEX Police officers made 50 arrests for shoplifting across Essex in the past fortnight, with 36 people subsequently charged with a total of 131 offences of shop theft and five of assault.

A spokesperson said: “At court, we will be seeking criminal behaviour orders against seven of them.

We use CBOs to tackle the underlying causes of persistent and prolific offending, such as requiring offenders to engage with drug and alcohol addiction support services.

And of course, they can be used to exclude offenders from stores they have been targeting.

“Arrests are mostly made by our local policing and community policing teams but our Business Crime Team provides specialist advice where necessary”.

Sergeant Christian Denning says business crime officers also spend a lot of time engaging with retailers across the county, looking at ways they can protect their businesses and keep their staff and customers safe and secure.

“We also work with retailers to encourage them to report crime to us, through our Open For Business, Closed For Crime campaign.

“This enables us to tailor our crime prevention advice to take new crime trends into account.

“We also emphasise the importance of providing us with as much evidence as they can, such as clear CCTV footage and witness statements.

“The stronger the evidence we can provide at court, the higher the chance of a conviction.

“And it can also be used to support our applications for criminal behaviour orders against persistent offenders.

“Conditions can be attached banning them from the stores they target and requiring them to attend drug and alcohol treatment courses. Through this we look to halt the reasons many offend and break the criminal cycle.

In the past four weeks, 93 arrests have been made for shop theft* across Essex. Between 1 January and 16 June 2024, that figure rises to 677.

Between 3 & 16 June, 14 people were arrested in Southend; 13 in the Chelmsford district; nine in Colchester; six in Thurrock, five in Tendring and three in Basildon.

As well as the charges against 36 of those we arrested, investigations are ongoing in seven other cases. One person was cautioned and no further action will be taken against six others.

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