Scheme to tackle shoplifting in Wellingborough launched

Police, businesses and staff came together to launch the initiative earlier today.
Police, businesses and staff came together to launch the initiative earlier today.

Police and shopkeepers have teamed up to launch an initiative to tackle shoplifting in Wellingborough.

The scheme, which has already had 43 businesses sign up, officially launched today (Tuesday) and follows the success of a similar initiative in Northampton.

Through the Northamptonshire Crime Business Partnership, police will work with Servicon, staff at the Swansgate Centre and retail staff to try to reduce retail crime in the town.

Sector commander for Wellingborough Insp Lara Alexander-Lloyd says she hopes the scheme will make shoplifters realise thieving will not be accepted.

She said: “We will be much more robust in our approach and will be circulating images of known offenders and using radios with stores.

“Shoplifters will receive banning notices so not only will their stealing be an offence, but they will also be trespassing as well.

“Shoplifting is the second biggest type of crime behind violence, and at this time of year it is particularly rife.

“We hope that initially, this scheme will stop a lot of thefts and crime from taking place by our constant monitoring.

“Those who do shoplift will soon realise that this won’t be accepted.”

Steve Lang, business development manager at the Northamptonshire Business Crime Partnership, says the scheme will be rolled out across the county by next summer.

He said: “The initiative in Northampton is well established and after the launch of Wellingborough’s initiative, there are plans for many more.

“We hope to have a scheme in place in Kettering soon and will also look to have one in Corby, East Northants, South Northants and Daventry by the summer.

“We hope to utilise a sharing tool and branch out, and this is the first big step in doing so.”

Paul Jones, assistant manager at the Home Bargains store in the Swansgate Centre, feels the initiative is a great idea.

He said: “It’s fantastic that a number of stores are clubbing together because I think crime in the town is on the rise.

“I used to work at the store in Rushden and there was very little crime, but since coming here I’ve spotted it a lot.

“I’m expecting it to have a big impact and I am sure this will help to stamp it out.

“Hopefully if shoplifting is reduced we’ll be able to trade normally and it will let us get on with our job.”