Shoplifting hotspots in Brent revealed as police screen out ‘low-value’ crimes
- Credit: Archant
Thieves have targeted businesses in Brent 3,448 times in the past two years – but just a fifth of shoplifting crimes are being solved by police.
Of the thousands of calls local businesses have made to police about shoplifting since January 2017, 2,849 - or 82 per cent of reports - have either been closed with no suspect identified, are still under investigation or have not been updated since the original crime report.
Just 52 perpetrators have been sent to prison in that time. Another 17 were handed suspended sentences and 34 received community sentences.
A further 73 offenders were cautioned and 64 were given a penalty notice, but just one person has been ordered to pay compensation to a shopkeeper.
A Met Police spokesperson said: "The Met is under various pressures including financial challenges and increasing demand.
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"Homicide, kidnap, sexual offences or domestic violence continue to be fully investigated.
"[But] with the pressure on our resources it is not proportionate for our officers to spend a considerable amount of time looking into a low-value theft offence."
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The largest number of would-be thefts - a total of 612 in under two years - took place in Wembley Central, resulting in six people being jailed.
The other worst-hit wards were Tokyngton with 430 crime reports, followed by Harlesden with 313 and Queensbury with 273.
According to police data, there have been 937 thefts from supermarkets in Brent since January 2017, as well as 621 near petrol stations and parking areas and 248 in or around shopping centres.
The largest number of calls to police about shoplifting in Brent came from Wembley High Road.
Of the 175 crime reports made there, just 21 resulted in some kind of action against the perpetrator.
The other roads most blighted by would-be thieves were Neasden Lane, where businesses reported shoplifting 89 times, and the retail park in Manor Park Road, where 87 crimes were reported.
Opportunists have also targeted smaller streets in Brent.
The shops around Station Terrace and Dagmar Gardens, Kensal Rise, have reported 11 crimes in less than two years. Not one of the perpetrators has yet faced any consequences.