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Town centre operation conducted to target pickpockets and shoplifters – Watford

21 Nov 2019
  • The plain clothes operation was conducted in town centre to tackle shopliftings and purse dipping offences.

  • Nine people were detained and dealt with, including one man who has been charged with breach of a community protection notice.

  • Covert operation is part of wider work to tackle this type of crime in Watford.

Officers from the Watford Central Safer Neighbourhood Team detained a number of people following a targeted operation in the town centre last week.

Wearing plain clothes, they conducted covert patrols on foot by posing as shoppers in a number of stores.

They were proactively looking for criminals who were engaging in purse dippings, pickpocketing and shoplifting offences, as well as deterring would-be offenders.

During the operation, they detained nine people who were seen acting suspiciously or committing offences and arrested a man for breaching his Community Protection Notice.

A woman was stopped and searched after she was seen acting suspiciously and while she had nothing on her person, her details were recorded for future intelligence purposes.

Three women from the Birmingham area were detained on suspicion of sleight of hand offences. They were subsequently banned from the intu Centre before being escorted out of Watford.

Two women from the Harrow area were detained on suspicion of shoplifting and will be dealt with via community resolution*.

Two teenage girls were detained on suspicion of shoplifting. All suspected stolen items were recovered and the girls were dealt with via community resolution.

A man was arrested on suspicion of breaching a Community Protection Notice before being taken to custody. He was later charged.

PC Laura Grant, who led the operation, said: “This covert operation is a continuation of the wider work we have been doing to target those who travel into our town to commit crime.

“We want to reassure shoppers and businesses that we are conducting regular town centre patrols and would urge people who believe they are witnessing a crime in progress to please dial 999, as it gives us the best chance of attending promptly.”

There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from becoming a victim of crime, and these can be found on the crime prevention section of our website here.

*Further information on community resolutions can be found here.


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