'Tis the Season to stay safe
'Tis the Season to stay safe

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is offering reassurance to retailers and businesses around Northern Ireland that reducing retail crime will be a priority over the festive period.

Police are urging retailers to be vigilant and report crime whenever it takes place.

Chief Superintendent Darrin Jones, the Service’s Business Crime lead, said:  “We understand that retailers are under ever-increasing financial pressure and that this time of year is crucial to local businesses. We are committed to working with the business sector to reduce business crime and, in particular, shoplifting.

“Shoplifting can have a disastrous effect on businesses, ruining livelihoods and causing huge stress and sleepless nights. We have recently had significant incidents in which we arrested an individual suspected of stealing designer goods in value upwards of £8,000.

“Our Interceptor teams continue to have significant success against organised shoplifting gangs carrying out high value thefts across Northern Ireland. Our local and neighbourhood police teams are also in shopping areas on a daily basis providing reassurance and engaging with retailers.

“As part of our Operation Season’s Greetings we will have an increased presence in city centres and towns all over Northern Ireland and we hope this will deter criminals and provide reassurance to the public and businesses.

“I would like retailers to review their security practices and engage with their local police. We offer a wide range of crime prevention information and guidance including through our Safe Shop initiative and we would encourage the public to come forward and report any crimes they see taking place.

“It is only with the help of the public and businesses that we will be able to apprehend these criminals and bring them to justice as well as return stock which does not belong to them,” Chief Superintendent Jones added.

Roisin McAliskey, Development Manager, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Small Business retailers have already faced an uphill battle this year between Covid recovery and the increasing cost of doing business with the likes of energy bill hikes. In the festive season many small businesses cannot cope with additional losses through retail crime, so we would ask all to look at preventative measures so they can protect their business against further unnecessary losses.”