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The Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative Limited (WRCI) is a County wide  Partnership approach to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in retail and licensed business premises in Warwickshire.

News

13 December 2017: Warwickshire Police: Witnesses sought to Leamington Spa Tesco Express robbery
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11 December 2017: Warwickshire Police: Appeal for witnesses to armed robbery at Rugby Co-op store on 9 December
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27 November 2017: National Consumer Week 2017
In National Consumer Week 2017, (beginning Monday 27th November), Warwickshire County Council's Trading Standards Service are warning residents to beware of falling in to the "free trial trap" and unintentionally subscribing to products they don?t want or need.   See advice here

18 November 2017: Black Friday advice for Businesses and Security  
       
Black Friday (27 November has become one of the biggest shopping days of the year, when retailers reduce prices across their stock to kick-start the Christmas gift-buying season.  
WRCI advises members may wish to review their security and ensure that adequate resources are in place to respond to the increased demand.

Things you can do:

Have sufficient staff to cope with the increased demand
Security officers should have a visible presence, clearly display ID badges and be briefed, crowded places can lead to more opportunities for pickpockets
Ensure staff are fully briefed to positively engage with customers
Remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to security or police
Review and communicate any emergency/evacuation procedures to staff, ensure all necessary equipment, including first aid supplies, are readily available
Have the ability to control access points in to your premises
If you have access to a ‘ShopWatch’ radio, ensure it is utilised
Check CCTV is fully operational and that you have available staff members who are trained to operate it • Contact your local police or Business Partnership if you have specific events which you feel they should be aware of

7 November: Warwickshire Police: Witness appeal after armed robbery at Tesco Express in Leyes Lane, Kenilworth
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1 November: Warwickshire Police: Witness appeal following theft of ATM machine at Co-op in Rugby
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30 October 2017: Warwickshire Trading Standards - Scams & Rogue Trader Awareness Update

17/10/2017 Model agency scams
Warwickshire Trading Standards has recently begun to receive more complaints from young people about bogus photographic/modelling agencies. These businesses, who often advertise on social media, claim to be able to get their clients modelling jobs.
The agencies offer to create a portfolio of photographs for their clients in return for payments which can total several thousand pounds.
Young people are often drawn in by being offered a few photos for a low price , before being pressured in to signing a contract for a vastly more expensive portfolio.  However, having paid their money, clients have claimed that the modelling jobs never materialise and that they are simply fobbed off.

17/10/2017 Bogus PPI caller and iTunes gift card scam
Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of cold calls from fraudsters masquerading as PPI claim handling businesses. One Warwickshire resident was phoned and told that she was due ?2370 PPI from Royal Bank of Scotland and that a ?Government Solicitor? would personally deliver the cheque.
The resident was further told that he would be required to show this individual on their arrival his passport, diving licence, three utility bills and sign an iTunes gift card!

More information on how the iTunes gift card scam operates
NEVER invite any cold callers to visit your home.

17/10/2017 Share dealing scam phone calls
Residents are warned to beware of cold calls from bogus investment businesses selling worthless shares. The fraudsters usually begin by claiming to represent a genuine investment company before asking the call recipient about shares they may have in genuine companies. The fraudsters then go on to try and sell the resident worthless shares and similar bogus investments.
One Warwickshire resident was cold called by fraudsters who attempted to convince him to invest over ?2000 in shares, to be paid using Bitcoins.
NEVER agree to any investment ?opportunity? made as a result of a cold call and be wary of all unregulated investments (land, wine, paintings, rare metals etc.). Fraudsters often ask for payment via bank transfer, pre-paid cards (e.g. iTunes) and Bitcoins.
Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.  

Sign up to scam alerts at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams  

25 September 2017: New £10 note - Security Features
The new £10 note is now available to banks for circulation. The note has a number of security features. See here (PDF download).
Or view the Bank of England website for information.

15 August 2017: Warwickshire Shop Watch Bulletin - 9 August 2017
There have been a number of incidents at shop premises over the past week in North and South Warwickshire.
 If you would like to view the incidents, in case you have any information in relation to them or you would like to view the modus operandi so that you can put
crime prevention measures in place, please visit the following Warwickshire Police link.

If you have information that you believe may be connected to the incidents, please contact the Police on 101, quoting the incident number given.
Please remain vigilant around your area and report suspicious persons, vehicles or activity to the Police on 101.
If you’d like to sign up to the Warwickshire Police Community Messaging Service please visit this link.

24 July: North Warwickshire Citizens' Academy
Warwickshire Police is offering people in North Warwickshire an exciting opportunity to learn about and experience the day-to-day workings of their local police force as part of the Citizens' Academy.
This programme provides local people over the age of 16 with a unique insight into Warwickshire Police's work to protect people from harm and improve residents' quality of life.

The course will cover a range of policing functions/roles including crime prevention and detection, recording crimes and incidents, road safety, forensic investigation, police use of firearms, internet safety, and the role of Safer Neighbourhood Teams as well as other key departments.

Read more on Warwickshire Police website

17 July 2017: Warwickshire Revealed As UK Hotspot For Fraud Against Shops
Warwickshire has been revealed as the UK hotspot for fraud against shops, based on latest information from consumer watchdog Which?.
They collated the data, which came via a Freedom of Information request.
The information shared demonstrated that while the national average for this fraud type is 3.34 reports per 10,000 people, in Warwickshire this figure was 15.67 per 10,000 people – nearly 5 times the national average.
See full article with advice for shops from Warwickshire Business Watch

25 June 2017: Terrorist Threat to UK - Protect your staff and your business
Advice from Warwickshire Police can be found here

18 June 2017: WRCI joins Natiuonal Association of Business Crime Partnerships
WRCI has joined the National Association of Business Crime Partnerships is an independent not-for-profit organisation working with business crime reduction partnerships
BCRPs, police, local authorities and other agencies to help businesses reduce the impact and cost of crime against them, their staff and the communities they trade in.

18 June 2017: Crime against businesses: findings from the 2016 Commercial Victimisation Survey
Published May 2017
Crime against wholesale and retail premises key findings

Crime against the wholesale & retail sector fell between 2012 and 2014 but has since shown no statistically significant change.
The sector experienced a large statistically significant fall between 2012 and 2014, from 7.7 million incidents in 2012 to 4.1 million incidents in 2014.
Although the trend appears to have shown an increase between 2014 and 2016, with 5.2 million incidents of crime in 2016, the change is not statistically significant

The proportion of premises experiencing crime has fallen since 2012. In 2016, 37 per cent of premises in this sector experienced a crime,
a statistically significant fall of 16 percentage points from the 2012 CVS when over half (53%) of premises experienced a crime.

The average cost of shoplifting incidents has increased.
The median average cost of shoplifting per victim was £237 in 2012 increasing to £500 in 2016, whilst the median average cost per incident has also shown an increase from £35 in 2012 to £54 in 2016 CVS.
Furthermore, the proportion of shoplifting incidents that involved items worth over £50 increased from 38% in 2012 to 50% in 2016, a statistically significant change.

Food and grocery items were most commonly stolen in shoplifting incidents.
Over a quarter (27%) of all shoplifting incidents involved food and grocery items in 2016. The majority of premises (71%) reported that the food and grocery items stolen were typically low value items (such as milk or bread).

Link to full report

Wholesale and Retail Sector summary

Crime Against Busines Infographic

17 May 2017: Beware of bogus alarm sales in Rugby

Rugby and Warwickshire residents are being warned of unexpected phone calls from people falsely claiming to work for Warwickshire Police and selling alarms.
Police have been made aware of two incidents in Draycote Road and Cowan Close in Rugby, where the caller attempts to make appointments for salespeople to visit resident's homes.
Warwickshire Police do not cold-call residents on the phone to sell alarm systems or sell alarms door to door and we urge people to report similar incidents.

Tactics employed by salespersons to sell expensive and unsuitable alarm systems include:
•         Pretending to be calling on behalf of Trading Standards, Fire and Rescue Service, Police or Neighbourhood Watch in order to make their visit appear official.
•         Offering 'free' monitored alarms. The householder is told they have either won or been selected for an alarm. Although this may seem at first to be a tempting offer, what is not always made clear to householders who take up this offer is that they will have to pay a service charge to whichever company monitors the alarm systems that is fitted - and this could be hundreds of pounds a year. Householders will also find themselves locked in to an agreement that could last several years and be required to pay for additional annual system check ups. In all the cost of this 'free' alarm could be many thousands of pounds.
Consumers who are considering purchasing an alarm system should not be rushed in to doing so on the door step, but should get a least three quotes from reputable companies.

Make a scam/rouge trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service
(https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/) on 03454 040506.
Avoid rogue traders. Use Warwickshire Trading Standards No Rogue Traders


15 May 2017: Advice Following NHS Ransomware Attack

Following the ransomware cyber attack on Friday 12 May which affected the NHS and is believed to have affected other organisations globally,
the City of London Police's National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has issued an alert urging both individuals and businesses to follow protection advice
immediately and in the coming days.
Ransomware is a form of malicious software (Malware) that enables cyber criminals to remotely lock down files on your computer or mobile device.
Criminals will use ransomware to extort money from you (a ransom), before they restore access to your files.
There are many ways that ransomware can infect your device, whether it be a link to a malicious website in an unsolicited email, or through a security
vulnerability in a piece of software you use.
Key Protect messages for businesses to protect themselves from ransomware:
Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
Create regular backups of your important files to a device that isn't left connected to your network as any malware infection could spread to that too.
The National Cyber Security Centre's technical guidance includes specific software patches to use that will prevent uninfected computers on your network
from becoming infected with the "WannaCry" Ransomware: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/ransomware-latest-ncsc-guidance
For additional in-depth technical guidance on how to protect your organisation from ransomware, details can be found here:
https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-your-organisation-ransomware
Key Protect advice for individuals:
Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
Create regular backups of your important files to a device (such as an external hard drive or memory stick that isn't left connected to your computer
as any malware infection could spread to that too.
Only install apps from official app stores, such as Google's Play Store, or Apple's App Store as they offer better levels of protection than some 3rd party  stores.
Jailbreaking, rooting, or disabling any of the default security features of your device will make it more susceptible to malware infections.
Phishing/smishing
Fraudsters may exploit this high profile incident and use it as part of phishing/smishing campaigns. We urge people to be cautious if they receive any unsolicited
communications from the NHS. The protect advice for that is the following:
An email address can be spoofed. Don't open attachments or click on the links within any unsolicited emails you receive, and never respond to emails that ask for your personal or financial details.  
The sender's name and number in a text message can be spoofed, so even if the message appears to be from an organisation you know of, you should still exercise caution,
particularly if the texts are asking you to click on a link or call a number.
Don't disclose your personal or financial details during a cold call, and remember that the police and banks will never ring you and ask you to verify your PIN, withdraw your cash, or transfer your money to another "safe" account.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/


7 May 2017: Appeal for information following Kenilworth robbery
Warwickshire Police are appealing for information following a robbery at the One Stop shop in Albion Street, Kenilworth on Friday (5 May) night.
The robbery occurred at around 10.50pm when it is reported a person, believed to be a man, with most of his face covered entered the shop with a knife and demanded money from staff.
The offender then left the shop with a quantity of cash.
It is believed the offender left the scene on foot in the direction of Kenilworth town centre.
If anyone witnessed the incident, saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area or has any other information that could help police with their enquiries they should call 101 and quote incident 438 of 5 May 2017.
Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org

27 February 2017 : Six ways to make sure your £5 is genuine:
•     Check the see-through window and portrait of Queen Elizabeth
•     Check Big Ben is gold on the front of the fiver and silver on the back
•     Make sure the foil patch changes from “Five” to “Pounds” you tilt it
•     Check the crown appears to be 3D when you wiggle the note
•     Use ultra-violet light to check if the “5” appears on the bottom left of the note
•     Check the green foil patch contains the word Blenheim

27 February 2017: Businesses could face fines for ignoring CCTV data protection law
A business owner has been prosecuted for failing to register with the ICO because she was using in-store CCTV. Kavitha Karthikesu, pleaded guilty to the offence under section 17 of the Data Protection Act at Coventry Magistrates’ Court on 1 February. She was fined £200, ordered to pay £439.28 prosecution costs and a £20 victim surcharge. The defendant was operating CCTV cameras as part of her business premises licence but said she didn’t realise this meant she had to register with the ICO. The annual fee for most businesses is £35. Ms Karthikesu had not responded to repeated warning letters from the regulator telling her she was in breach of the Act. She told the court she thought the letters were spam and was unaware of the Information Commissioner’s Office.   See full report

27 February 2017: New BRC’s Figures Reveal Wave Of Cyber-Threats And Rising Violence Against Staff
The BRC’s annual Retail Crime Survey reveals that 53 per cent of retail fraud is now cyber-enabled, and violence and abuse against staff has risen by 40 per cent in the past year. The BRC’s Retail Crime Survey has today laid bare a growing new frontier of retail crime, driven by rising cyber-enabled incidents. It also reports a 40 per cent increase in violence and other forms of abuse against retail workers in the past year. The findings reveal that ever more sophisticated forms of crime are being perpetrated against retailers and their customers. Examples of cyber-enabled crimes being committed include phishing, theft of consumer data, doxing and social engineering, as well as a host of other increasingly elaborate scams. The BRC’s report highlights concerns among retailers that existing deterrence is not effective enough, and a growing sense among those working in the retail industry that offenders are able to act with impunity. The overall number of retail crimes committed has risen to 3.6 million, with the direct financial cost of crime to the retail industry reaching £660m in 2015-16. See full report

17 Janaury 2017
Warwickshire Police Press Release: Information appeal following Co-op robberry, Wellsbourne
Police are investigating a report of a robbery at the Heart of England Co-op on Loxley Close, Wellesbourne, on Monday 16 January.
It is reported that two masked men entered the shop a 6.00am and demanded access to the safe. They eventually left the shop empty handed and drove off.
Detective Sergeant Ali Knight said: "Fortunately nobody was injured in this incident and the offenders left empty handed; however,
this was extremely shocking for staff at the store. We would like to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident or who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the incident."
If anyone has information that could help police with their investigation they should contact 101 and quote incident 29 of 16 January 2017.
Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org

28 December 2016
Government and retailers tackle knife crime together
Four new major retailers have joined the voluntary agreement to prevent the underage sale of knives, Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering
Extremism Sarah Newton announced today.
Boots UK, the Co-op, B&Q and Aldi have committed to ensuring safeguards are in place on the sale and delivery of knives by ensuring age verification checks
are robust, including regular staff training, and ensuring knives are packaged and displayed securely.

They join Tesco, Lidl UK, Wilko, Argos, Morrisons, Asda, Poundland, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, Amazon UK, Ebay UK and Waitrose who signed up to the agreement
in March this year, delivering on the commitment to extend the agreement to further retailers.

17 December 2016
Warwickshire Police Press Release - Robbery at Stratford cheese shop
Police in Stratford are investigating a robbery which happened at a cheese shop in Wood Street on Monday, 12 December.
The incident happened at Paxton and Whitfield at about 9am as the shop was being opened for the day.
The offender entered through the fire escape and was in the process of removing bags of cash from the safe when he was challenged by a female member of staff.
He twisted her arm and pushed her to the ground before making off with some of the cash. He went in the direction of Bards Walk and Guild Street.
The offender is described as a white man, 5ft 9ins to 5ft 10in tall and of a slim build. He was wearing a blue jumper, possibly with a hood, black tracksuit bottoms and white trainers.
Officers investigating the incident would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious activity in Wood Street on Monday morning or has any information which would help them with their enquiries.
Anyone with information is asked to call Warwickshire Police on 101, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or through their website www.crimestopppers-uk.org, quoting incident 66 of 12 December.

6 December 2016
Warwickshire Police issue Christmas advice to retailers in press release

Retailers across the Warwickshire and West Mercia force areas are being reminded the take precautions to maintain the security of their customers, staff and premises during the Christmas shopping period.

An increase in footfall often seen during this period can make stores more vulnerable to shoplifters and police are urging business owners to take the recommended steps to reduce the likelihood of being targeted.

The alliance lead on business crime, Superintendent Sue Thomas, said:

"Additional security and extra staff during busy periods can go a long way in reducing the threat from shoplifters. We know that the additional demand seen at this time of year can cause issues but we are urging you to link in with your local policing team for further advice on how to protect yourselves."

Almost 30% of items stolen from retailers across the alliance area are classed as edible goods, such as meat, chocolate, cheese and coffee. Perfume and cosmetics are the second most commonly targeted products followed by alcohol, particularly liquor and spirits. *

Supt Sue Thomas said: "The types of goods we see being targeted are high value in comparison to their size and can be easily concealed by thieves. We hope the advice we give retailers helps to mitigate these risks.

"In addition to these precautions our local officers will be conducting high visibility patrols and actively engaging with retailers in shopping centres and high streets to ensure theft is kept to a minimum this season."

The below advice has been given to retailers across the alliance area to help protect them during the busy shopping season.

Top Tips To Prevent Shoplifters

Greet your customers or make eye contact when they enter your premises. This way they know they have been seen.
Install appropriate CCTV facilities to act as a deterrent to potential thieves.
Signage to highlight the presence of CCTV can help further protect your business and your staff.
Consider the layout of your premises, always ensure your high value goods are positioned in sight of the till or CCTV cameras.
Display empty boxes in place of your high value goods and secure products elsewhere.
Radios help staff communicate and can make observing a potential offender easier and more effective.
Remind staff to be vigilant and make sure they know who to contact for assistance.
Engage with your local police officers and join a partnership with other retailers in your area. This could help you to identify repeat offenders and working together can help reduce your risk.
For more information and advice on how to protect your business please visit the Your Business Matters campaign page on your force website. Your Business Matters is an alliance wide initiative to support local businesses by giving them the tools and guidance to help protect them from harm.

*Figures are taken from an alliance shoplifting analysis report over a 12 months period between 1 November 2014 and 31 October 2015.

23 November 2016
Added new link to Warwickshire County Council scam alerts

27 October 2016
Police investigate attempted theft of cash machine, Bidford
Warwickshire Police is investigating the attempted theft of a cash machine from a supermarket in Bidford in the early hours of this morning, Thursday 27 October.
Officers were deployed to the Budgens store in Salford Road at about 2.10am after an alarm was activated.
They arrived to find that a cash machine was partially removed, leaving a hole in the wall.
At this stage it is not known if anything has been stolen.
A JCB was found at the scene along with another vehicle, which is believed to have been reported stolen from the Pershore area.
Local searches have been carried out in the Bidford area and CCTV footage is being reviewed.
Officers investigating the incident would like to hear from anyone who was in Salford Road at about 2am or has any information which would help them with their enquiries.
Det Sgt Gavin Lambert said: "This was an unsuccessful attempt to steal a cash machine from the store and, whilst we do not know at this stage whether anything else has been stolen, a lot of damage has been caused.
"Local people may have been disturbed by the noise or wondered why a JCB was travelling along Salford Road in the early hours of the morning, and we would like to hear from them in case they have any useful information."

Anyone with information is asked to call Warwickshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 quoting incident 23 of 27 October.

20 October 2016
Businesses warned over charity scammer operating in Rugby The man claimed to be working for a lung cancer charity.
Warwickshire County Council is warning businesses in the Rugby area to be wary after receiving reports of a potential scammer
posing as a charity worker in the town. A council spokesperson said: “Warwickshire Trading Standards has been alerted by local
businesses in Rugby to a man going from business to business claiming to be from Warwickshire County Council
collecting money for a lung cancer charity.“He was on foot and carrying a bag with money in it.
Warwickshire County Council are unaware of any such collection and warn businesses to be on their guard.

Read more: Rugby Advertiser

21 June 2016: Warwickshire Police press appeal after theft of jewellery from Rugby shop
See here

17 June 2016: Warwickshire Police publish image re supermarket purse theft at Aldi Leamington Spa
See here

20 April 2016

Retail crime cost extra 3p per transaction, says survey
Shoplifting puts a 3p ‘crime tax’ on every transaction, a study claims.
Retailers lose £122 million a year to criminals, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) reports.
The ACS calculates with crime costing an average £2,370 per store and each shop spending £1,379 on prevention measures every year,
it equates to an additional 3p charge on each sale.
Chief executive James Lowman said the extra costs amounted to a form of “crime tax” on convenience shoppers.
Former ACS chairman Jonathan James, meanwhile, has described the figures outlined in the 2016 Crime Report as “shocking”.
The ACS survey also highlighted the prevalence of staff theft, with more than 7,500 instances reported in the past year
and the average incident costing individual retailers an estimated £1,686.
Violence and the threat of violence was the number one concern among store owners, with the fact tragically illustrated
 by the recent killing of popular Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah.

11 February 2016

Counterfeit Currency Warning
There have been a number of incidents again recently where persons have entered business premises and have asked for change or have
purchased goods to a minimum value and have tendered either a £50 or £20 pound note that has turned out to be fraudulent.
On one occasion persons asked for £220 two hundred and twenty pounds in £20 notes) to be changed into 10p pieces, this was refused.

1 February 2016

Fraudulant Counterfeit Love to Shop Vouchers.
Love2Shop vouchers are accepted at over 20,000 stores nationwide, including Argos and Boots.
Nationally Love2Shop have become aware of numerous reports of fraudulant vouchers being used in the UK, particulary in the LONDON and BIRMINGHAM areas.
It is believed that there may be approx. £1 Million worth of fake vouchers in circulation.

Please check:

Rear:
The Shark image top left corner of the rear shouldn't be there.
The £10 shouldn’t be visible through the silver foil, top right corner of rear

Front:
The red strip, if rubbed should display - "Love2Shop"
The red heart, top right corner, should react to a coin.
When held up to light, a water mark of Winston Churchill shows on fraudulent voucher