Police and businesses unite to reduce shoplifting in Fremantle

stock image.
stock image.

WITH stealing the most dominant crime type, Fremantle Police are working together with businesses to reduce retail theft.

In 2017-2018, retail thefts were among the 1,458 overall stealing incidents reported.

Fremantle officer in charge Brad Warburton said shoplifting was a difficult crime type to police.

“It is due to offenders generally being opportunistic, targeting clothing, food, confectionary and alcohol,” he said.

“The key message we are pushing across the community is simple: Shoplifting is a crime – offenders will be prosecuted.”

Community circles is an initiative where Fremantle Police, businesses, security and community safety teams work together and sharing information.

Blue Buddha owner Chad Milward said community circles had been a success.

“It has made people more aware of what is happening around Fremantle,” he said.

He said shoplifting was something his business was conscious of.

“We have security cameras in our store, we train the staff that if there is something suspicious to get right in there with good customer service,” he said.

“Shoplifters are looking for places they can target; they want to be left alone so if you can kill them with kindness then they will leave you alone.”

OIC Warburton said there were a few techniques businesses could follow.

“Environmental design is important, instead of putting the counter at the rear and the merchandise in the front, make the merchandise at back and counter at the front,” he said.

“It’s important to have CCTV but to not put merchandise or signs in front of the cameras.

“Lastly customer service is really important; talking to all the customers who come is a deterrent.”

Fremantle council and Freo Now will host a Community Safety session at the Town Hall on October 4.