Leicester

Leicester retailers take course to tackle shoplifters

Retail staff in Leicester city centre have been trained to "meet and greet" shoplifters in an effort to cut crime.

The course aims to teach shop owners and employees how to identify and approach potential offenders.

Prolific shoplifters are made aware their presence has been detected, but in a way that is less likely to antagonise them.

Organisers claim there has been positive action from the 75 retailers who have received the training.

In the last year Leicestershire Constabulary recorded 1,465 retail crimes in the city centre - a reduction of 7% from the previous 12 months.

'Deterring offenders'

Insp Chris Cockerill said the scheme was not a replacement for the police, as they continued to provide a high visibility service within the shopping areas.

"It's about the retailers assisting themselves, preventing and deterring those offences taking place in the first place," he said.

Stuart Delahoy, owner of gift and jewellery shop Set, feels the training had given him the knowledge and confidence to respond to potential offenders by making them aware of his presence.

"I think the same way you deal with a shoplifter is the same way you deal with a customer, you meet and greet, and give them service," he said.

"That deters a shoplifter and assists your customers."

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