Two further arrests in Bedford town centre shoplifting crackdown

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Two men have been arrested after a series of break-ins at high street shops and restaurants as Bedfordshire Police continues to take a stand against shoplifting.

The arrests are the latest results in the force’s Operation Belville, seeing officers out on patrol and using tactics like CCTV to identify key suspects in Bedford.

The community policing teams have identified the top 10 suspects in different areas across the county as well as highlighting crime hotspots an gathering evidence to issue frequent offenders with Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBO) designed to stop reoffending.

The force’s Bedford community policing team officially launched Operation Belville at the Harpur Centre in Bedford this week, alongside Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye.

Festus Akinbusoye with Bedfordshire Police Community Policing Team members, Cllr Jim Weir and town centre partners. Image: Bedfordshire Police
Festus Akinbusoye with Bedfordshire Police Community Policing Team members, Cllr Jim Weir and town centre partners. Image: Bedfordshire Police

Chief Inspector Mike Chand, from the Bedford community policing team, said: “Monday was a fantastic opportunity for me, the commissioner and other senior officers to meet with representatives from businesses in Bedford who were able to share their concerns regarding retail crime in the town.

“It was great to be able to reassure business owners that Operation Belleville, our strategy to tackle the root causes and longer-term issues around retail crime in Bedford, is proving to be a huge success – but we know there is more work we need to do.

“We are determined to take this targeted approach to tackling crime and use our efforts and tactics in the best way to combat the most damaging criminal behaviour in our communities.”

On Monday (29 January) members of the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme met with the team to talk about cyber-crime and other major crime types.

PCC Mr Akinbusoye said: “It was very positive to have this opportunity to meet representatives from our business community, listen to updates on Operation Belville, the impact it is having in just 18 days, and the way the officers are working with the local authority.

“This is a perfect example of what partnership working and targeted enforcement can achieve. I will continue to support and advocate for local people and businesses who want to work with Bedfordshire Police in keeping our county safer.”

 
 
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