Ilford business owners get training from police on keeping shops safe

Officers delivered a training session to Ilford business owners in how to deal with shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.

PC Imran Malik (right) and Inspector Zed Asghar delivered a training session to Ilford business owners on how to deal with and prevent shoplifting and antisocial behavior. - Credit: Imran Malik and Zed Asghar

Police officers trained business owners and security staff in Ilford town centre on how to keep their shops safe from shoplifting and antisocial behaviour.

The two-hour training session, held on Tuesday (May 25), was a result of a collaboration between Ilford BID and the Met's East Area BCU in how to give businesses the tools and knowledge to battle crime.

Hosted by Insp Zed Asghar and PC Imran Malik at City Gates Church in Clements Road, the first event was targeted for owners in Ilford town - but there are plans to roll out the training across Redbridge.

In the session, they talked through what legal powers security staff have as opposed to the police and how to take a witness statement once a shoplifter is caught.

PC Malik told the Recorder: "We know shoplifting and antisocial behaviour has a major impact on local businesses.

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"One of the most important things we went over was statement training. This could sometimes take eight to nine hours to do and slows down the process but if security staff can take down their statement it can help police come and charge them."

The session was also a way to get the business owners together to share the problems they have in dealing with the same people.

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One business owner said thieves target their shop when they know there are only female staff members there.

The officers said if they could provide a description of the thieves and the times they target the stores, they could keep a safer neighbourhood team patrol in the area to help catch them.

PC Malik said he is hoping it could lead to a Redbridge local business watch group where owners share information about thieves, helping to stop repeat offenders.

He added: "Having that contact and communication with business owners is key to help tackle these problems."

Cllr Khayer Chowdhury, cabinet member for crime, safety and community cohesion at Redbridge Council, called the project "fantastic": "This sort of collaborative working between our partners is always encouraged and helps us address some of the challenges we are facing in Ilford."

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