I’ve committed to helping all types of businesses in our county, because it is important that we prevent crime and support victims, no matter who they are.

One of the guiding principles of my Police and Crime Plan, Safer in Kent, is that crime is important no matter where it takes place, and for me that includes on the High Streets and in the retail sector.

Thanks to my drive to boost police numbers, the Chief Constable has created town centre policing teams – 56 Officers who work with residents and retailers to prevent and detect crime.

It’s easier to report crime and antisocial behaviour, with 101 waiting times falling and the establishment of both online reporting and live chat.

And I regularly meet retailers and store managers to talk about the issues they face as part of my programme of visits and street stalls.

Reports that policing won’t investigate shoplifting reports below a financial value of £200 are therefore disappointing. I have raised this with Kent’s Chief Constable at one of my public accountability meetings in March, with the following being noted in the minutes:

In relation to retail crime, the PCC said retailers perceived the value of goods stolen as a factor in the Force’s response and asked the Chief Constable to confirm the policy. The Chief Constable stated this was a myth and that any retail theft was resourced and investigated as appropriate regardless of the value of goods stolen.

Kent PCC’s Performance and Delivery Board, 4 March 2020

There is a commitment that every crime reported in Kent will be explored for lines of enquiry and investigation, supported by the Investigation Management Unit.

However, if this is not your experience I am keen to hear from you. Please email contactyourpcc@kent.police.uk with your crime reference numbers and my team will ask Kent Police to look into your case.

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