play_arrow

keyboard_arrow_right

skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
chevron_left
volume_up
chevron_left
  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (128k) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (64K) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (128K) More Music Variety!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (64K) The Best Variety of Hits!

Local News

The secret ‘shop detectives’ stopping thieves in crime-riddled Yorkshire town centre

today15/09/2021

Background
share close

For those living in Doncaster, homelessness, begging and shoplifting are some of the main issues that are complained about in the town centre.

For PCSO Paula Fox these are issues that she tackles head on everyday while walking the streets chatting to business and those who need help.

In her 15 years as an on the beat bobby she has been able to really get to know the community inside the town centre and help those who need it most.

For the latest Doncaster news and stories, click here

And those shopping in the town centre may have seen more officers than usual on Wednesday as Operation Duxford was in force to help tackle some of those common issues.

High visibility patrols and officers talking to the local community will be continuing throughout the day and into the evening.

But while out on the beat with officers once issue became particularly apparent, shoplifting.

But police, CCTV operatives and ‘shop detectives’ inside stores are actually helping to tackle the problem head on.



PCSO Paula Fox regularly liaises with shops to help tackle issues with shoplifting
PCSO Paula Fox regularly liaises with shops to help tackle issues with shoplifting

Bryony, who became a ‘shop detective’ or security safety assistant, back in June says that the problem of shoplifting has steadily got worse since the relaxing of Covid rules.

At the Marks and Spencer store, in Baxter Gate, Bryony says that they have around four major thefts a day at the moment.

“The main issue that we deal with is shoplifting. I only started this role in June.

“Before that I worked in the women’s department and I started to recognise some of the regular shoplifters, you get to know what they look like.

“Because the situation has got so bad they asked me if I wanted to take the ‘shop detective’ role as I was already doing it.

Enter your postcode to see crimes reported in your area

“It has 100 percent got worse, especially since the rules have relaxed for Covid.

“Before we could stop people at the door and turn them away but now we can’t.

“This morning around 8.30am we had someone come in and steal a load of meat so we have no steaks left at the minute, it’s really bad.”

Shop owners have a meeting with South Yorkshire Police once a month to circulate information on known shoplifters to them so that they know who to look out for.



Shop owner Raja Hussain with PCSO Paula Fox
Shop owner Raja Hussain with PCSO Paula Fox

Raja Hussain, who owns Pinky’s and Love and Vape, says that homelessness and shoplifting are both big issues that are putting people off coming to the town centre.

“I know that House of Fraser lose up to £7,000 a week from shoplifting.

“The homeless problem is crazy at the moment they just go around robbing from anywhere and beating the staff up.

“I know someone people who just come into the town now to get what they need and they get out straight away, some refuse to shop here anymore.

“It is dangerous for some elderly and women as they just get surrounded by people asking for money. They are just getting ruder.



PC Paula Fox on patrol through Doncaster town centre
PC Paula Fox on patrol through Doncaster town centre

“I must have been threatened about 500 times.

“There are friendly and fantastic people in this town and they don’t deserve this.”

Operation Duxford is ongoing throughout the day on Wednesday to tackle the issues that matter most to local communities.

This includes warrants being issued and high visibility patrols.



Doncaster District Commander, Chief Superintendent Melanie Palin
Doncaster District Commander, Chief Superintendent Melanie Palin

Doncaster District Commander, Chief Superintendent Melanie Palin, said: “We want the people of Doncaster to see that we are listening to their concerns and tackling the issues they have told us matter to them.

“Officers have been out early this morning targeting those who are involved in drug dealing and other criminality.

“High visibility patrols in the town centre will continue throughout the day and into this evening.

“This is an example of the work that is going on each and every day across Doncaster.

“As I’ve said before, this has to be a collective effort. We can only take action if we are aware of the problems, so I would urge anyone who sees any of our teams out and about today to please speak to them.”

Download the YorkshireLive app to customise the news that matters to you and get the latest updates first.

Written by: Rother Radio News


Previous post

Business News

TikTok investigated over alleged transfer of personal data to China and child safety

TikTok is being investigated by Ireland's Data Protection Commission - which leads the EU's regulation into the company - amid fears that user data is being transferred to China and over its approach to child safety.Announcing the move, the DPC said it would examine TikTok's compliance with the EU-wide data regulations for under-18s, and age verification measures for under-13s. A second inquiry "will focus on transfers by TikTok of personal […]

today15/09/2021