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An analysis of the situational crime prevention techniques used by Operation Kensington on a selected Co-op store

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  • Criminology
  • Design


It is apparent that shoplifting within England and Wales is a significant problem that seemingly needs more attention when it is estimated that seventy five per cent of shoplifting incidents go undetected (British Retail Consortium [BRC], 2007b, p. 1). The city of Portsmouth is an area that experiences a significant shoplifting problem. As a result Operation Kensington was set up by Hampshire Constabulary to try and tackle the problem. The scheme redesigned three Co-op stores in a pilot area with the purpose of making them more resistant to crime by using a series of situational crime prevention (SCP) techniques. It has been established that these SCP techniques can be successful in preventing crime and therefore the focus of this study was to assess whether the SCP techniques used by Operation Kensington have been successful in one of the three Co-op stores. The research study sought the views of two police officers who regularly deal with the selected Co-op store and two of the Co-op store workers in order to gain a varied perspective on the techniques. Crime data provided by Hampshire Constabulary was also analysed. On the available evidence the study has been unable to conclusively establish that the techniques used within the Co-op store have been effective. It does however appear that they may have been successful to some degree. The study is however able to say with some certainty that Operation Kensington as a whole as had some positive effects, most notably making the reporting of crime more efficient and leading to an increase in both reported and detected crime within the pilot area.

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