Launch of Pegasus
With the support and endorsement of the Policing Minister and Home Office, the APCC's Lead for Business and Retail Crime, Katy Bourne OBE, has convened a business and police partnership called Pegasus.
The initiative is a business and policing partnership that will radically improve the way retailers are able to share intelligence with policing, to better understand the tactics used by organised retail crime gangs and identify more offenders. This will include development of a new information sharing platform and training for retailers.
So far, 13 of the country’s top retailers have pledged to fund a new police team of specialist officers & analysts to work within policing in a structure called OPAL - a national team that oversees serious organised acquisitive crime, run by North Wales Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman.
The team will build a comprehensive intelligence picture of the organised crime gangs that fuel many shoplifting incidents across the country, to help target and dismantle them.
APCC Lead for Business and Retail Crime, Katy Bourne OBE said: “Pegasus will be a game changer in the fight against retail crime providing for the first time, an accurate national picture of the organised groups from local families to cross border criminals driving organised shop theft.
“Retailers will agree ways to capture information that can be shared and analysed to create intelligence packages for police forces to target and track perpetrators. I am very grateful to all the contributors to Pegasus and to Mitie in particular for helping to get Pegasus airborne.”
Crime and Policing Minister, Chris Philp MP said: “I want a new zero-tolerance approach to tackling shoplifting. It is a blight on our highstreets and communities and puts the livelihoods of traders at risk. I am determined to drive forward change.
“While it is encouraging to see a 29% increase in charges for shoplifting in the past year, the rise in offending is unacceptable and there is much more to do to stop it happening in the first place.
“That’s why we’re taking action and bringing together government, policing and business to commit to smarter, more joined up working when it comes to retail crime, which will help to drive down criminal behaviour and rebuild public confidence in the police response when it does occur.”
Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Acquisitive Crime said: “Dealing with retail crime requires a multi-faceted approach and through the launch of Pegasus, plus the Retail Crime Action Plan, we have bolstered the policing response to tackling offenders and supporting retailers in reducing shoplifting and attacks on retail staff.
“We welcome the collaboration between retailers, police and crime commissioners and policing through Project Pegasus which centralises intelligence and enhances our ability to identify and tackle the groups involved.
“We continue to target those prolific and habitual offenders whose behaviour causes misery and takes profit from our communities and retailers. Local police forces assess each report through a threat, harm and risk model to determine their police response and will deploy resources where they can be most effective in catching offenders and keeping people safe.”
NB: Katy is Bourne is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex.
More information on the launch of Pegasus can be found on GOV.UK