Officers from the Hoddesdon and Cheshunt Safer Neighbourhood Teams met with shop managers at Tesco in the Brookfield Shopping Centre, to discuss ways to work together to tackle issues like shoplifting and purse dipping.
Representatives from Tesco, Next, River Island and Marks and Spencer came along to the meeting, to find out how they could make their businesses more secure and help police to catch criminals.
Shoplifting offences have increased by 17 per cent from April 1 this year, compared to the same period last year. Police have been using several methods to target offenders, including proactive hi-visibility and plain clothed patrols and monitoring CCTV footage, but are keen to get local shops more involved.
At the meeting, the businesses found out how submitting CCTV images of suspected shoplifters can be uploaded to www.Facewatchid.info. This allows members of the public to identify people in relation to crimes by means of an app that can be downloaded to a phone or tablet. The setting up of a business community Whatsapp Group was also discussed, so that local businesses can alert other shops when shoplifters are operating in the area.
Retail Crime officer for Broxbourne PC Richard Partridge said: “We are keen to get local businesses involved in reducing crime in their stores and want to encourage as many stores as possible to get involved. It’s great to get these first businesses on board and hopefully we can sign up many more to really form a united front against shoplifting.”
Other shops wishing to get involved can contact PC Partridge via the police non-emergency number 101.
To download the app to your smart phone or tablet, just search your app store for ‘Facewatch ID.’ You can also download the app through the Facewatch website at www.facewatchid.info.