Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach returned to Market Harborough on Friday to provide an update to some of the retailers most affected by the recent spate of commercial burglaries.
The Commissioner, accompanied by PC Steve Winn from the Harborough North neighbourhood policing team and Supt Mark Newcombe, visited several of the premises which had been burgled or been subjected to shoplifting incidents to talk to the owners and hear how they felt about the problem.
“Since I attended the public meeting set up to discuss the problem earlier in the month it is abundantly clear that things have calmed down significantly,” he said.
“I heard some really distressing stories when I spoke to people who had had their shops burgled. This is not a victimless crime, it affects real people and their livelihoods.
“I was pleased to be able to visit the victims and provide reassurance that the police, who worked really hard to tackle this problem, had successfully arrested four people. Two people have been sentenced to a total of 42 weeks in prison for stealing and handling stolen goods and two other people have also been arrested and charged.
“No-one is complacent, but it’s a big step in the right direction.”
The Commissioner also went to visit B&M Stores, to hear more about the Harborough Against Retail Theft (HART) system which is active in the town, whereby those shops enrolled receive timely information on known offenders and offences in the town.
“This is a really good system and helps people to be alert to potential problems,” he said. “It’s great to see retailers working together and with the Police to tackle this type of offending. I urge any retail business not signed up to do so.”
The Commissioner went on to meet local Councillors including Leader Cllr Blake Pain and chair of the Community Safety Partnership, Cllr Rosita Page, at Market Harborough District Council.
Discussions ranged from the work of the Community Safety Partnership and its’ priorities, to the issue of legal highs, all of which the Commissioner said he would take into account as he develops his forthcoming Police and Crime Plan.
“Finally,” he said: “I would like to thank all those people who made us feel really welcome in Market Harborough and took the time to talk to us. It was very worthwhile.”