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Festive operation launched to keep retail crimes down in King’s Lynn




Representatives for Operation Wonderland who tackle retail crime and anti-social behaviour in King's Lynn town centre.
Representatives for Operation Wonderland who tackle retail crime and anti-social behaviour in King's Lynn town centre.

Officials in Lynn have teamed together for the launch of their festive campaign to prevent retail theft and anti-social behaviour in the town.

Operation Wonderland, which sees the town’s police officers and retailers work together to target these types of crimes, runs throughout the festive period.

Speaking at a meeting of the partnership on Wednesday, Sgt Darryl Grief explained the initiative runs all year long, but Operation Wonderland commences with the start of late night shopping in Lynn.

Sgt Grief said Operation Apart, which is the name given to the scheme that runs throughout the year, has seen positive results.

He said last November a total of 58 retail crimes were reported, whereas this November the figure was 20.

“The group is working really well because when we go and speak to previous offenders they say ‘it isn’t worth it because you catch me every time’,” he said.

With the initiative proving to be worthwhile, the number of stores participating has increased five-fold.

Sgt Grief said eight shops were signed up in January, but the number has since grown to 41 stores, based in the town centre and on the Hardwick.

Tom Harwood, store manager of Marks and Spencer, said the initiative has been effective for the business.

He said stock loss was down 60 per cent from last year.

Sgt Grief said the success of the initiative is in part due to effective offender management and also due to stores becoming more “proactive” about retail crime.

“Nationally the trend is ‘we are not interested unless you have had £200 or £300 worth of goods stolen’ – we are bucking the trend massively, because of the bigger picture, that some of these offenders are also drug dealers or burglars,” he said.

“Once you get on top of it, not only does retail crime stop but the acquisitive crimes stop too.”



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