Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said Wiltshire Police is tackling the county’s retail business concerns around crime but recognised there have been instances where an expected level of policing response hasn’t happened.
Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson welcomed the letter and said he was aware the retail sector in the county reflected that national picture.
He said: “Businesses do have a right to feel frustrated – especially when they do not get an expected level of response from their local force to reported crimes. There have been several cases across Wiltshire where this has happened and it is clear our business community is not feeling safe. I want them to know, we are listening and responding to their concerns.
“The Chief Constable and I are determined Wiltshire Police will be more proactive, and robust, in its response to the commercial sector’s concerns. A range of interventions by the force is being worked upon – and plans to further increase visibility and tackle repeat shoplifting offenders, with the Chief directing a more strategic, and embedded, approach to retail crime to be included as part the Force’s overall policing response.
Wiltshire’s Chief Constable Catherine Roper confirmed that all reasonable lines of enquiry would be followed and urged retail businesses and shop workers to continue to report crimes, intelligence and provide CCTV footage.
“As the public would rightly expect, we do have to prioritise our attendance at incidents which present the most risk, harm and threat to communities – however, through direct engagement with retailers, we are developing improved support to them through our frontline policing teams.
“Shoplifting is often an ‘indicator’ crime to other challenges in an area, such as organised criminality or drug supply – and can also often disproportionally involve young people.
“For us to properly support our victims and communities, we do need to focus more attention to this type of criminality, which is intrinsically linked to the force priority of ‘Safer Public Spaces’.
“My ask of business owners is to please keep reporting any such criminality and supply any intelligence and CCTV.