Nottinghamshire Police are planning to use electronic tags on persistent shoplifting offenders to tackle the rising problem in the city.
According to Nottinghamshire Police, in the last year most crime figures in the city have been falling, however shoplifting has arose as a rising problem after a 19% increase in figures.
191 incidents in the city were recorded last year which stood Nottingham second highest in England and Wales.
Last year, Nottinghamshire Police worked with the Co-op stores in the city, who spent millions of pounds to find a solution to offenders. Previously the supermarket had a policy of not approaching people because of safety fears for their staff.
This work included improved investment in security for high-risk stores – providing covert surveillance to catch shoplifters. Other measures include tagging expensive or desirable items, such as champagne, cheese and meat. Police have also advised store bosses on where to stock certain items to avoid thefts.
However it appears thieves are still finding ways around the new policies. A study by Nottinghamshire Police commissioners found 80 serial shoplifters, who said that no matter the punishment, they could not stop because of drink and drug addictions.
Electronic tags have been suggested as a modern day solution to the problem.
“We need to use technology more smartly and more efficiently. This isn’t a victimless crime, if things are getting stolen, then we all ultimately pay more for them,” said Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime and Commission officer.
The electronic tags have been used in the past to work with persistent offenders of other crimes and have generally thought to keep Police notified of any activities.
The proposed tags will set of an alarm when somebody goes into a shop, alerting Police officials of a potential shoplifting situation.
Kieran Carvath, Deputy Manager at GAME, Nottingham City Centre shares his thoughts on the proposed tag system and how shoplifting affects their store:
Danny Harwood, Sales Assistant at Cash Generator believes the tags will add to the security measures already in place:
Although the proposal is bound to raise concerns about civil liberties and increasing capturing people on camera, Nottingham City residents have responded to the idea:
A new law will have to be enforced before any tags can be used so it could be a while before real prevention takes place.
Lizzie Maddin, Oliver Loe and James Lewer