Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative
The Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative (WRCI) is a Countywide partnership approach to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in retail and licensed business premises in Warwickshire.
Who we are and what we do
Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative is a membership organisation established to assist member businesses to respond in an organised manner to crime that affects their businesses, profitability, staff, customers and the local economy. By working together and sharing information about crime and those committing it, the partnership provides greater protection for its members and the local business community.
Welcome to the Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative Website
Members are reminded that you have previously agreed to comply with the WRCI Privacy and Data Handling Policy when using DISC. This document can be found in the Documents Section at www.wrci.org.uk.
The Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative Limited, (WRCI), is a county wide Partnership approach to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in retail and licensed business premises in Warwickshire. Our aim is to achieve a safer environment for the whole community in which to live, work and socialise.
The day to day operation of these schemes is a partnership process between the members, WRCI Limited, Warwickshire Police, CCTV, local radio schemes, BID schemes and local Community
There are Pub Watch schemes at Leamington, Stratford, Rugby and Nuneaton.There are retail schemes at Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth, Stratford, Rugby, Nuneaton, Bedworth and Atherstone.
The scheme members identify individuals who they wish to be barred from member premises, by submitting incident reports and are then provided, via a secure online system, with details of offenders who satisfy the criteria for inclusion on the scheme.
This process is managed by two administrators employed by WRCI Ltd. but housed by Warwickshire Police. They operate under a set of data sharing protocols agreed with Warwickshire Police.
Members hire or own radios which allows them to communicate with each other, the Police, Rangers, Town Hosts and CCTV Control Rooms.
The day time scheme for retail members ensures that prolific offenders are identified to all members and allows for early identification of them which results in the prevention or disruption of further offending in member stores. Persistent offenders are excluded from member stores.
The night time scheme with its exclusion process puts in place a strong control mechanism around member premises and town centres to prevent and reduce violent crime and disorderly behaviour. Violent or Persistent offenders are excluded from member premises.
SECURE INTRANET – DISC
to manage low-level crime and anti-social behaviour
Disc enables local crime reduction partnerships, national businesses, and large venues to self-manage low-level crime and ASB – and enables police forces to deliver ‘joined up’ policing to the communities they serve.
Members of WRCI agreed to comply with the WRCI Privacy and Data Handling Policy and have access to secure intranet DISC to manage crime within their business communities.
Warwickshire North: firstname.lastname@example.org
Warwickshire South: email@example.com
To join WRCI please contact one of the Administrators or download and complete the WRCI Application Form and send it via email at email addresses from above.
Find out more about membership and other useful information on Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative website by clicking here.
The Association of Convenience Stores is the voice of over 33,500 local shops, supporting our members through effective lobbying, comprehensive advice and innovative networking opportunities.
ACS’ core purpose is to lobby Government on the issues that make a difference to local shops, supported by an expanding research
programme designed to discover new information about the convenience sector which can be used to inform decision making both in Government and with those involved directly in the sector.
The 2019 Local Shop Report has revealed that the 46,388 stores in the UK convenience sector currently employ around 405,000 people, generating sales of over £40.3bn over the last year. The report, launched this week by the Association of Convenience Stores, demonstrates how important the UK’s network of convenience stores are to thousands of communities and millions of customers.
Key findings from this year’s report include:
- The convenience sector contributed over £8.8bn in GVA over the last year, as well as over £7.7bn in direct and indirect taxes like excise duties, VAT, business rates and corporation tax
- Convenience store retailers have invested £633m in the last year on improving their stores, extending the range of services available to customers and making their businesses more efficient
- Post Offices and convenience stores are the top two services that have a positive impact on a local area
- 19% of independent convenience store owners work more than 70 hours a week
- 26% of convenience store customers visit their local shop every day
ACS has launched a new animation to help retailers and their staff manage and prevent violence and abuse in stores.
The 2018 ACS Crime Report estimates that there have been over 13,000 incidents of violence in store over the last year, with theft seen as the most common trigger of abuse in stores. There have also been an estimated 9,000 robberies in the sector in the last year.
The animation provides tips and guidance for people working in stores to ensure that they stay safe in the workplace and do everything they can to prevent violent and abusive situations from happening.
ACS has developed a package of guidance which aims to support retailers in assessing and managing the crime threats that their businesses face. The guidance focuses on partnership working as well as how to mitigate crimes including robbery, violence and verbal abuse, staff theft and best practice around preventing theft at self scan tills.
Every local shop is different and requires an individual assessment for what action they need to take. The guidance includes infomation on crime prevention equipment including CCTV, external security measures and locating high value products in sight of the till.
Welcome to Warwickshire!
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Philip Seccombe provided support for the work the ACS is doing around business crime, and meeting ACS was the opportunity for the PCC to find out more about their work and for update them on what is being done in Warwickshire to address the issue.
We were joined by the OPCC’s Development and Policy Lead Debbie Mullis and Business Crime Advisor Bogdan Fironda, who was able to outline the work he carries out to support ACS members, through the Warwickshire Business Watch, crime prevention visits and through partner agencies.
Crime Report 2019
The 2019 Crime Report shows that crimes committed against the convenience sector cost an estimated £246m over the last year, equivalent to over £5,300 for every store in the UK, or what amounts to a 7p tax on every transaction.
The single biggest trigger for violence and abuse was shop theft. ACS estimates that there have been over a million incidents of theft over the last year, with retailers reporting that the vast majority of thefts committed against their business (79%) are by repeat offenders that aren’t being dealt with by local police forces.
Key findings from this year’s Crime Report include:
- The three biggest concerns for retailers are violence against staff, theft by customers and verbal abuse against staff
- The report estimates that there were almost 10,000 incident of violence in the sector over the last twelve months
- Of crimes committed where a weapon was present, the most commonly used weapon was a knife (68% of incidents)
The report also shows that there is a clear link between retailers just doing their jobs by upholding the law, and being subject to abuse. The top three triggers for aggressive or abusive behaviour are challenging shop thieves (1), enforcing age restrictions, for example refusing a sale to someone without ID (2) and refusing to serve drunks (3).
Training for storage, display, sale and delivery of knives
This training package comprising of five modules, is designed for everyone involved in the sale or delivery of knives including managers, retail staff and delivery drivers. It aims to standardise training across all retail sectors by raising awareness, improving knowledge and understanding of how good product placement and additional security measures can prevent theft and illegal sales of knives.
Each module comprises of a short animation and knowledge check.
Modules 2, 3 & 4 are essential for delivery drivers to enable them to ASSESS, CHALLENGE and CHECK age in order to comply with the requirements under the Offensive Weapons Act 2019.
Each module including the knowledge check will take 5-10 minutes to complete.
Module 2: How to ASSESS Age
This module explains why it is important to always assess the age of the customer to ensure knives are sold responsibly, prevent underage sales and confirm delivery to someone over the age of 18.
Module 5: When to call the police
The Metropolitan police, Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime (MOPAC) and London Trading Standards have been working to produce a good practice guide for knife retailers in addition to collaborating on the training modules. Alongside this is a Voluntary good practice agreement and resources to assist with training. These may also be useful in other parts of the country. Visit the Knife Retailer Toolkit for more information.
Customer Service is Key to Deterring Crime
The most effective form of prevention is to use customer service. Offenders thrive on anonymity and often leave premises when they are noticed. By knowing where your customers are, offering them your assistance and anticipating their needs will undoubtedly help reduce crime in your premises.
Offenders take advantage of busy stores during peak hours and when staff are busy, such as opening, closing and shift changes.
Greet your customers. This lets any possible offenders know you are aware of their presence.
If you notice a suspicious person, approach them and ask ‘How can I help you?’ and make yourself visible in the vicinity.
Be on your guard when large groups enter the store together. Be aware of those who distract staff, enabling others to commit crime.
If you notice known offenders or suspicious activities, alert other staff immediately – many stores have a security code or ‘buzzword’ they use for this.
News travels fast, so if you do detain someone for theft call the police and report the crime. If it’s known that theft will not be tolerated in your premises, this in itself can act as a deterrent.
Please find below information on various techniques offenders use, that might help your business identify potential crimes taking place at your premises.