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Safer Business Action Day – Bath

PCSOs and members of Bath BID speaking with the public next to the mobile police station.
Nick Bishop of Bath BID and PCSOs Ania and Andy speaking with members of the public
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Neighbourhood police in Bath teamed up with retailers, Bath Business Improvement District (BID) and city marshals to tackle shoplifting in a day of action.

The Safer Business Action (SaBa) Day was organised by Nick Bishop, Bath BID’s Safe and Secure Business Crime Reduction Partnership Manager, and PCSOs Shannon Munro and Chloe Brooks.

“Nationally shop theft is on the rise, as is violence towards store workers, therefore it is important we all work together to tackle these issues. In Bath we’re lucky to have a strong network of retailers, security staff and city marshals, who are supported by a really good Neighbourhood Policing Team, working together.

“We do a lot of proactive work and have 140 businesses connected with each other through the City Link radio scheme, which is a really valuable communication tool to help catch shop thieves and prolific offenders. At the Bath BID we value the police as key partners and events such as SaBa Days only help to strengthen the importance of a partnership approach to tackle crime in the city centre.”

Nick Bishop, Bath BID

PCSOs Munro and Brooks regularly patrol the city centre, visiting retailers and encouraging staff to report incidents of theft and aggressive or anti-social behaviour.

What happened during the day?

Shop and security staff were briefed ahead of the SaBa Day on Tuesday 17 October. Officers explained the different ways stores can report shop theft, especially when the suspect is aggressive, when it’s a small business or involves a prolific offender. As well as calling in on 999 when the offender is still on the scene, officers reminded stores they can call 101 and handed out fliers with a QR code to make it easier for shop staff to report retail theft online through the police website. Shops can also submit CCTV online.

We joined Bath BID staff at a stand in Stall Street, promoting a range of crime prevention advice and information to people in the city and PCSOs patrolled jointly with city marshals while uniformed police officers also carried out patrols on foot.

During the day CCTV staff reported a man behaving suspiciously in High Street. PCSOs detained a man in nearby Union Street until officers arrived. Three suspected stolen handbags were recovered after a search by officers and store security staff. A man in his 20s is due to attend a police station for interview.

In another incident a PCSO on joint patrol with a city marshal asked a woman not to charge her phone using a shop’s electricity supply. A woman, 18, was subsequently arrested and charged with assaulting a city marshal by spitting, and two counts of assaulting emergency workers (police officers) by kicking and spitting. She is on bail pending an appearance at Bath Magistrates’ Court next month.

“Thankfully we haven’t seen significant increases in reported shop theft in our city and since March there has been a decrease.

“Shop staff should feel safe at work, and we don’t underestimate the impact of these types of crime. We do need shops to tell us about thefts and anti-social behaviour. We aim to respond to reports of shoplifting with a value of more than £50 and prioritise incidents in which there is reported violence, or a suspect has been detained.

“When operational demand means we’re unable to attend, thefts and other incidents in shops are still investigated. We’re committed to working with individual businesses and business groups to support them and have successfully used anti-social behaviour legislation to ban persistent thieves from certain areas.”

Bath Neighbourhood Inspector Jon Nash

More days of action are planned to help tackle thefts and anti-social behaviour in Bath and other parts of our policing area.