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Boots partners with Home Office to fight retail crime

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Boots joins other 12 giant retailers to launch an action plan to combat shoplifting

The multiple is working in partnership with the UK’s other retailers and the Home Office to tackle ‘retail crime’ at 10 Downing Street on 23 October.

The initiative is known as “Operation Pegasus”, chaired by Crime and Policing Minister Chris Philp MP and led by Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

Boots with other retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, and Waitrose plans to fund a “team of specialist police officers and intelligence analysts”.

Bourne, the national lead for business and retail crime claimed that the action plan will be a “game-changer” for policing as it is “the first national partnership of its kind”.

She told The Times: “It’ll be a game-changer for policing because for the first time ever, policing will get a complete picture across the country of where these gangs are hitting different areas and they’ll have that data and intelligence to be able to put that out to local police forces to go after those gangs.”

The UK giant retailers are ready to invest over £840,000 in the initiative, Retail Crime Action Plan.

It includes police running CCTV footage of the shoplifters through the national data base which is also equipped with facial recognition technology.

Moreover, the police have pledged to “prioritise urgently attending the scene of shoplifting” where security guards have detained an offender or where attendance is needed to secure evidence.

Chris Philip, Crime and Policing Minister spoke about the plans to tackle the crime, he said: “I want a new zero-tolerance approach to tackling shoplifting. While it is encouraging to see a 29% increase in charges for shoplifting in the past year, the rise in offending is unacceptable and there is much more to do to stop it happening in the first place,” he further added.

“That’s why we’re taking action and bringing together government, policing and business to commit to smarter, more joined-up working when it comes to retail crime, which will help to drive down criminal behaviour and rebuild public confidence in the police response when it does occur”.

Matt Hood, managing director of Co-op, expressed his disappointment with the approach towards the investigation.

He said: “The Home Office and NPCC say every crime will be investigated, which are great words, but actions are better and, frankly, yet to be seen, as our stores report serious crimes every single day, but in 71pc of cases, no police turn up.

“Co-op has invested over £200m to try and keep our colleagues and stores safe, so I am increasingly frustrated by how our efforts are not being matched by those who have the power to enforce consequences.”

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