Police defend shop crime 'diaries'
Police have defended a scheme which involves asking shopkeepers to keep a diary of thefts worth less than £20 rather than reporting the crime immediately.
Humberside Police said the scheme had been developed with local retailers, who fully backed the initiative.
A spokesman said: "The scheme has been piloted for some weeks with a number of small shops but the diaries are now being rolled out more widely. It will be some time yet before all retailers have them.
"The diaries will enable shopkeepers to record incidents of anti-social behaviour and shop thefts which otherwise may go unreported. £20 has been set as a guideline level to indicate the sort of maximum level that would be suitable for this process."
Police will then visit businesses across North East Lincolnshire at least every two weeks to review and discuss the diaries. Any thefts will then be recorded by the police, building up a picture of crime in the area.
This information could lead to increased patrols in crime hotspots and advice to shopkeepers on extra surveillance for their premises, Humberside Police said.
Officers also hope that the information compiled in the diaries will help them to take action against individuals committing offences - for example, with Asbo applications and providing bad character references in court.
The spokesman added: "Some businesses have told police that they don't often report the most minor shop thefts so this scheme will allow officers to find out about these incidents in order to assist retailers.
"The diary will be used to record any information the retailer wants the police and the council to be aware of, no matter how big or small the issues seem to be."