ALMOST 30 people have been charged with a total of 79 counts of shoplifting in Essex in the past fortnight.

A total of 53 people were arrested for shop theft in Essex between June 17 and June 30.

The thefts per area show 14 in Thurrock, 11 in Colchester, 10 in Southend, six in each of Basildon and Chelmsford, four in Tendring and two in Castle Point.

Two were also charged with assaulting retails workers.

Officers have made 103 arrests for shop theft in the past four weeks.

Between January 1 and June 30, that figure rises to 730.

Sgt Christian Denning, from the Business Crime Team said: “Officers across Essex continue to focus on offenders who shoplift because they know the distress they cause to local communities.

“We, as business crime officers, focus our work on advising retailers of the various ways they can protect their business and keep their staff and customers safe and secure.

“You can find plenty of advice and information on our webpages at and you can contact the Business Crime Team direct from them if you can’t find what you are looking for.”

As well as the charges against 29 of those arrested, investigations are ongoing in 16 other cases.

One person was cautioned, one received a community resolution and no further action will be taken against six others. 

The Business Crime Team specialises in supporting businesses, working to build relationships with independent shops and retail chains, explaining how they can report crime to police and what will happen when they do. 

They help to identify risks in the workplace, providing crime prevention, fraud and cyber-crime advice, and strengthening links with businesses and partners, including local community safety partnerships, Essex Chambers of Commerce and the Essex Federation of Small Businesses. 

Working with the National Business Crime Centre, the team share nationally-identified crime trends and best practice with their business community.

They have also developed a comprehensive guide to business crime prevention which identifies what steps business-owners can take to protect themselves and their properties. 

For more information about how their business crime officers can help your business, visit their Business Crime pages here