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Nottinghamshire shop owners say they are on edge after rise in thefts

today29 June 2022

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Business owners in Kirkby-In-Ashfield ‘don’t feel safe or secure’ as shoplifting has risen dramatically in the town. Smaller independent businesses are being targeted as well as major stores such as Morrisons and B&M.

Lek Cheweewan, has owned a fashion store in the town centre for the past five years. She told Nottinghamshire Live that her store has experienced shoplifting many times, the most recent being a lady taking a bag worth £20 from the store. The 60-year-old said: “They take bags, clothes, and perfume. We talk to the police and they come to look here.

She added: “Sometimes people take it and put it in their bags. Sometimes it’s one, two, three people, they put it in their body or in their bag, they think it’s easy.”

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Beauty Karriah, is the owner of O & B African and Caribbean foods, hasn’t experienced shoplifting but is aware that it’s happening. However, someone attempted to break into her store by smashing part of the door, but they didn’t manage to get in.

The 38-year-old said: “I’ve not experienced it myself but it happens. I think the first experience was a long time ago. Just that they tried to break in. They left it, they didn’t succeed, a long time ago. I don’t feel secure, I don’t feel safe. A lot of shops are closing and going, they don’t stay very long. The police will not stay 24 hours, maybe just more awareness.”

Another business owner, Nina Bianco of Kirkby Sales and Exchange said that they have had to ban those who have shoplifted in the store. Nina said: “We hear a lot from other people. It’s Morrisons, Boyes, Boots. We’ve had shoplifters but we’ve banned them. We feel that we can get them out. We have a chat now which is quite helpful, so you know to keep an eye out.”

Councillor Dale Grounds, who represents Kingsway in Kirkby-in-Ashfield for the Ashfield Independents, is doing what he can to crack down on shoplifting in the town. The councillor has met with a number of impacted retailers and is bringing together the Council’s Community Protection Team and the Police to deal with complaints, as well as this has set up a WhatsApp group to help improve communication between traders.



Councillor Dale Grounds is determined to do what he can to help traders crack down on shop lifting in Kirkby.
Councillor Dale Grounds is determined to do what he can to help traders crack down on shop lifting in Kirkby.

Councillor Grounds, also Vice-Chairman of Ashfield District Council said, “Like many people, I have major concerns about the rise in shoplifting in Kirkby. I have been out and about talking to our shops and many of our traders are at their wit’s end. I have set up a WhatsApp group to help traders keep in touch when known shoplifters are on the move. What we really need however is a visible police presence in and around Kirkby.

“For the bigger shops in Kirkby it’s a problem – for some of our smaller traders however it could be the difference between keeping their heads above water. Retailers have had such a tough time since covid – I am determined as a local councillor to do everything within my power to support our traders.”

Inspector John Hewitt, district commander for Ashfield, said: “Shop thefts are a serious offences that can have a very significant impact not only on local businesses, but also on customers who can be met with increased costs as a result. We understand this and continue to work hard with local retailers and their stakeholders to crack down on shoplifters and improve store security.

“As shops have reopened their doors since the end of covid restrictions we have noticed an increase in such offences and will continue to work with local traders to tackle the problem. As part of this we would urge all victims of shop theft to report incidents to us so we can accurately track the issue.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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