Crime-fighting network in Birmingham recovers £135k of stolen goods

A crime-fighting network set up to tackle retail theft and anti-social behaviour in Birmingham city centre has recovered more than £135,000-worth of stolen goods in its first year.

City Safe was launched in response to Retail BID Birmingham members who were becoming increasingly concerned about business crime and the impact of anti-social behaviour.

The subscription scheme uses a new digital radio network, instant text messages and access to CCTV imagery using data-compliant software managed in a central control room.

More than 200 City Safe radios are now being used in the city centre retail and leisure area, Southside and Colmore Business Districts.

Members pay just £10 per week to be a part of the new network, which is being led by Retail BID in partnership with West Midlands Police, British Transport Police and retail centre security staff.

Data on theSentry Secure Intelligence System system dating back to February 1 this year reports £135,259 of goods recovered, with 1,142 incidents resolved. This means that the detained person has either been banned from a store, or had some form of police involvement.

The system now has more than 640 live profiles of persons that have been apprehended and dealt with.

A recent example of a City Safe success involves a known, prolific shoplifter who entered a city centre department store where she attempted to steal £235-worth of men’s boxer shorts. City Safe officers were called to help apprehend the female, at which point it was discovered she had 20 pairs of designer glasses in her handbag, stolen from a nearby opticians. The total recovered amounted to £4,454.

In November two females were detained for theft at a large retailer on High Street, Birmingham, where £600-worth of jewellery was recovered.

Retail BID and City Safe officers attended and the incident was reported to the police.

One of the females was found to be wearing an improvised pouch under her main clothing, which was designed to conceal much larger stolen items.

The pair were linked to a group targeting beauty products and jewellery in High Wycombe and Reading.

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