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New guidance for policing retail crime

Published on
New guidance from the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council sets out how officers will investigate reports of shoplifting and prevention measures they can take
Police community support officers in high street

The College of Policing and police chiefs have developed joint new guidance to improve investigations of retail and business crime.

    Shoplifting is not a victimless crime and policing recognises the impact it can have on retailers and communities.

    In the summer the College of Policing and police forces committed to improve investigations and drive down crime rates by following all reasonable lines of enquiry. This new guidance will make sure this commitment is applied to shoplifting.

    It’s an easy reference guide that will support officers to identify criminals, gather the evidence and help bring those responsible to justice.

    Superintendent Andy Sidebotham, College of Policing lead for Local Policing

    Police will prioritise attending thefts where the offender has been detained by store staff, is still at the scene or nearby, where violence has been used or where evidence like forensics or CCTV need to be quickly collected.

    Officers will take statements from eyewitnesses who have information and will take further details of property that has unique features, such as a serial number, so it can be found and returned.

    There will be an increased focus on the use of Impact Statements for Business (ISB) which allow a business to

    • have a voice in the criminal justice process
    • explain to prosecutors and courts how retail theft is affecting them and their customers

    Read the guidance 

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