I got grabbed literally to deal with a shoplifter detained as I walked down the road. Only too happy to oblige and I asked immediately what had been taken. A chocolate shake drink to the value £1.35 as it turns out.
The shop detective (obviously new) had to be prompted to provide some evidence, and the miscreant threw his hands up. Then I ask what is the policy of the store in cases like this. The manager was already holding a banning notice and was eager to serve it. He doesn’t want to waste our time or his over £1.35. I ask him to hold on whilst I do some checks. The shoplifter was a drug addict with lots of previous, living in a hostel. I think he was a genuine “help yourself” case if there can be such a thing.
I could have issued a ticket for £80 if I’d had one on me. You really do need a personal “Sherpa” to carry all the forms and paperwork required. The bloke was OK, safe in the knowledge he was walking, so a stern talking to was administered before he was kicked on his way. Years ago this would have been shown as a “Clear Up”, as the guilt of the offender was clear. We got them to sign a little slip, which was handy for old people nicking a bit of cheese etc. Clear Ups used to be all the rage until replaced by the new religion detections.
So there it was one undetected crime report created - naughty me!
I had a good chat with the manager. The stock loss at this store was 10% or £3500 a week. I was surprised – it’s only a little mini market for a national chain. They’ve also got a security guard. We had a walk round and he tells me that much of the loss is meat. He was losing packets of sliced meat and joints by the shelf full. This was happening from opening time at 8am mainly through till 11am, when the guard starts work.
This is a typical junkie crime where the goods are sold on to feed a habit. They had static CCTV, which didn’t really cover the counters very well. This could be a nice little operation to deal with the stolen meat. There is already talk of the store closing down due to the losses. Now call me a cynic, but a lot of this will also be down to theft employee by staff. He thought that perhaps 3 or 4 individuals were targeting them and I tend to agree.
So what is required for me to help them out? Officially:
Problem Solving Proforma - long form several parts
Proactive and Tasking Proforma - long form to justify resources
Risk Assessment Form - long form re Health and Safety and Human Rights
Attend Weekly Intelligence Meeting - for bosses blessing
Directed Surveillance application -as a pre planned operation
Deployment update reports - daily
It would probably be authorised, as we would be expected to issue loads of fixed penalties for the petty stuff. Then again, I could just deploy some plain-clothes patrols in the area and when I see a junkie enter with a large bag take it from there. I like fishing but only for the bigger fish. We’ll see …
Computer has gone again and needs serious work so limited posting until further notice. I'm sat in one of those internet cafes surrounded by strange people.