Concerns raised over increase in shop thefts in Biggleswade as police pledge ‘watch’ scheme

Biggleswade Retail Park

Biggleswade Retail Park - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised about the increasing number of thefts in Biggleswade with figures showing the recently built A1 retail park is becoming a target for shop lifters.

At a meeting last week, Biggleswade Town Council considered the latest police crime figures which reveal 29 thefts from shops and stalls in the town throughout January.

Details show the thefts mainly took place from town centre market stalls and from the A1 retail park. The main targets were shops or stalls at the London Road park which was targeted 16 times, Church Street which was hit seven times and Market Place which was hit twice.

Town councillor Frank Foster said the simple fact is that wherever you get more shops, you will get more theft.

He told the Comet: “I think it’s a problem everywhere, I don’t think it’s any more unusual than other places, but with more shops on the London Road, there’s going to be more theft.”

Inspector Nick Masters of Bedfordshire Police, said: “We are aware of a rise in retail crime in Biggleswade over the past year, and officers from the force’s north rural team are working to resolve these issues.

“The force is in the process of working with partners to set up a retail ‘watch’ scheme. A similar scheme already runs in Bedford, encouraging business owners to share information and intelligence about offenders.

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Bedfordshire Police works closely with these retailers, providing businesses with photographs of prolific shoplifters so they are able to easily identify offenders and warn other retailers if they are spotted.

“We take all reports of crime seriously and remain dedicated to ensuring that those committing these offences are pursued, and the appropriate action is taken against them.”

Other forms of crime have been much less prevalent this year so far, with five assaults causing actual bodily harm, five common assaults, four thefts from homes, four cases of criminal damage to property, three cases of making off without payment, two thefts of pedal cycles and two thefts from a person.

Anyone who sees any suspicious incidents should report them to police on 101.