traders have joined forces in an unusual operation to deter the Terrible
Twenty shoplifters in the town.
Town centre managers throughout the country are concerned that the majority of crime in
shops is committed by a small but highly active group of criminals.
At Rugby thirty traders have formed the Retail Crime Association which is working
closely with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Robin Richter, Town Centre Manager, said:
"We estimate that shoplifting costs traders £4 million a year in Rugby and we are
trying to do something to cut back that figure.
"We are liaising closely with the police and the CPS and the members of the Retail
Crime Association will be handed a dossier of the top twenty shoplifters in our town
including a photograph of each person.
"When someone is convicted of shoplifting he or she will be handed an exclusion
order as they walk down the magistrates court steps after the case.
"That order bans them from the thirty shops in the association. If they persist in
going into any of those premises they will be prosecuted for trespass."
The idea of exclusion orders was proposed by Mr Richter after he had visited other
towns which have started up similar schemes with much success.
He hopes to attract more local traders into the scheme so that eventually virtually the
whole of Rugby town centre is covered and shoplifters effectively are denied access to the
goods they have been pilfering.
It is generally accepted that a high percentage of crime in any area is committed by a
small minority. Rugby hopes that this scheme will dramatically cut the traders
losses to the criminal fraternity.