Gang which stole thousands of pounds worth of electrical goods foiled in Norwich

Norwich shopping centre intu Chapelfield. Credit: intu Chapelfield

Norwich shopping centre intu Chapelfield. Credit: intu Chapelfield - Credit: Archant

A criminal gang which had stolen thousands of pounds worth of electrical goods was foiled when it arrived in Norwich prepared to continue its spree.

The gang had been operating around the country, police said, targeting thefts from speciality stores selling electrical goods.

But at the start of August, Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) was able to give staff at intu Chapelfield a heads-up that the gang would be arriving in the coming days, which meant they could identify them via CCTV and effectively deny them access to the centre.

The shopping centre then told other businesses, which foiled the gang's attempts to then enter John Lewis.

It came as part of a partnership between the BID and National Business Crime Solutions (NBCS), which was launched in July this year to deter criminal behaviour.

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It gives the BID an access to a network of UK-based crime reduction agencies and provides daily updates on travelling offenders and career criminals.

Martin Blackwell, head of operations at the BID, said: "We've been operating a local scheme for many years but getting access to national data takes our fight against criminal behaviour to another level.

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"The damage these gangs can do to a business are potentially immense, but we are fighting back to protect our businesses, and the staff that work in them. Norwich is not a soft target."

A Norfolk police spokesperson said: "This is a great result and a great example of partnership working between Norwich BID, the Alert Norwich Business Crime Initiative and NBCS.

"Norfolk police will continue to work with these partners to ensure that Norwich is a safe place for businesses to operate and to deter criminals from targeting Norwich."

Sarah Bird, of the NBCS, said: "The relationship NBCS has established with BIDs has proven to be already very powerful.

"We are exceedingly proud of the latest success in deterring threats to members in Norwich and the impact our information has had on combatting crime against businesses. This really does demonstrate the power of partnerships."

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