A new partnership between business and policing, designed to help combat retail crime, has been welcomed by Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.
The Pegasus initiative is a business and policing partnership that will radically improve the way retailers are able to share intelligence with policing, to better understand the tactics used by organised retail crime gangs and identify more offenders. This will include development of a new information sharing platform and training for retailers.
So far, 13 of the country’s top retailers have pledged to fund a new police team of specialist officers & analysts to work within policing in a structure called OPAL – a national team that oversees serious organised acquisitive crime.
The team will build a comprehensive intelligence picture of the organised crime gangs that fuel many shoplifting incidents across the country, to help target and dismantle them.
Pegasus is the first national partnership of its kind. It is backed by the Home Office, John Lewis, the Co-op, M&S, Boots, Primark and several more, who have collectively pledged to provide over £840,000 to get the initiative off the ground.
Welcoming the initiative, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “It’s great news that these major businesses have joined with policing to share intelligence at a national level, targeting the organised retail gangs which are responsible for some of the serious criminality experienced by our shops and high street businesses.
“This can only be of benefit here in Warwickshire, helping to identify the offenders that come from outside of the county to commit crime. Together with the local data sharing that I have been able to support through the Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative, the additional intelligence that will now be available to policing is invaluable. It will help reinforce the determination of all parties to take a zero-tolerance approach to shoplifting and other crime which affects our retailers and businesses.”
The Pegasus partnership has been spearheaded at a national level by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, through it’s Lead for Business and Retail Crime, Katy Bourne OBE.
She said: “Pegasus will be a game changer in the fight against retail crime providing for the first time, an accurate national picture of the organised groups from local families to cross border criminals driving organised shop theft.
“Retailers will agree ways to capture information that can be shared and analysed to create intelligence packages for police forces to target and track perpetrators. I am very grateful to all the contributors to Pegasus and to Mitie in particular for helping to get Pegasus airborne.”