Tackling shoplifters is a priority as Safer Business Action Week springs into action

Merseyside PCC Emily Spurrell is urging retail and business workers to help tackle shoplifters by reporting any criminal incidents or abuse they experience.

It comes as Merseyside Police kick-started Safer Businesses Action Week with a conference that brought together Liverpool BID, Northwest Regional Organised Crime Unit’s SaferCash, Northwest Cyber Resilience Centre, Whitechapel Centre, Counter Terrorism Police Northwest (CPTNW) and Causeway, to speak to business owners and managers from across the region.

The national ‘Safer Business Action Week’ sees police carrying out events and operations across the force area to support local and national businesses and the economy. This week of action is part of a national campaign supported by the National Business Crime Centre and National Police Chief Council and aims to support the business community through partnership working and tackling the issues business face. It is the second year in which a national week focusing on business crime has taken place.

The Merseyside response is being coordinated by Liverpool City Centre Inspector. The City Centre contains the largest proportion of businesses in the region. As such, the Neighbourhood Policing Team have been continuing with their close work with the business community, including Liverpool BID Company, Liverpool One and St. Johns Shopping Centre.

Throughout the week, the team will be working closely with businesses and partners in tackling retail crime through joint uniformed patrols with security staff, plain clothed operations, and targeting named and prolific offenders.

Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said : “This week is an excellent opportunity to support the business community by bringing together police and partners to discuss the key issues of business crime. 

“Officers will be targeting shoplifting offences and licensed premises that facilitate the sale of stolen goods. They will be carrying out joint patrols with Liverpool One and St john’s Shopping Centre, putting an emphasis on reassurance, making sure that all businesses where staff have reported being abused or assaulted receive follow up visits as part of the national ShopKind initiative.  

“Shoplifting is not the acceptable price of working in retail just as being subjected to threats and abuse should not be normalised as something that just happens in that line of work. 

“I want to reassure retail workers and business owners your concerns are taken very seriously. This is a priority for me within my Police and Crime Plan.”

The conference, hosted at The Hilton Hotel, lasted for three hours, and was a chance for those running and managing businesses to get a more in-depth understanding of what can be done to avoid the devastating consequences of being targeted by criminals.

A Counter Terrorism Security Advisor from Counter Terrorism Policing Northwest gave delegates an overview of the importance of working together for security, and how businesses could successfully liaise with CTPNW for the best outcomes.

Both Cyber Resilience Northwest and SaferCash gave an overview of the threats and risks businesses are facing in 2023, as well as a range of strategies and tactics employers can use to protect themselves and their staff from organised crime and cyber attacks.

As businesses across Merseyside are facing a unique set of varied challenges, the hope of those speaking at the Safer Business conference is that by working together to give owners and managers all the expertise they need to keep themselves, staff, and customers safe, more will proactively take necessary action.