A Peterborough police officer – in only his second week supporting 400 businesses in the city centre – stepped up to the mark when chatting to staff in Peacocks a shoplifter suddenly made off with “several coats” from the store. PC Jay Cullimore and a police colleague with him, sprung into action.
“The pair chased after the man and caught up with him in Cathedral Gardens, where he was swiftly arrested, taken back to Peacocks to return the coats and interviewed at the scene,” said a police spokesperson.
“He’s been reported for the offence and will be summonsed to court in due course.”
The spokesperson said the shoplifter was caught at the start of PC Cullimore’s role which is to work solely in the city centre to support businesses alongside Peterborough Positive, whose aims included delivering a “well-managed, welcoming and safe city centre”.
PC Cullimore took on the role as part of Peterborough’s City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) specifically to support local businesses.
Funded by Peterborough’s Business Improvement District (BID) members, which is made up of more than 400 businesses and organisations across the city centre, the position is an additional role within neighbourhood policing in Peterborough.
The implementation of the BID – titled ‘Peterborough Positive’ – focuses on delivering an ambitious business plan to transform the city centre through improving experiences, standards and adding value for all city users.
Part of this campaign is the agreed funding of the additional policing resource which will be in post until 31 March 2025, to offer a highly visible presence within the BID area, specifically to engage with members, understand their issues and challenges and provide advice and support around crime prevention.
The officer works with the local neighbourhood policing teams and partner agencies to look at the design and implementation of problem solving to reduce overall crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the city centre, as well as representing the force within schemes such as Pub and Shop Watch.
Inspector Sam Tucker, from Peterborough’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “PC Jay Cullimore has been appointed as the BID police officer and will work to strengthen existing relationships with residents, local businesses, and levy payers within the BID.
“While we already have a dedicated city centre neighbourhood policing team, the aim of having this additional resource is to focus on a very specific area of the city centre and issues affecting our businesses, improve engagement, public confidence and the delivery of initiatives designed to reduced overall crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.
“This is not just about shoplifting – attendance at individual reports of shoplifting will remain through existing channels, however PC Cullimore will be supporting businesses with prevention and targeting repeat offenders within the area.”
Pep Cipriano, Chief Operating Officer at Peterborough Positive, said: “When businesses were consulted during the formation of the Business Improvement District, making the city safer was their top priority. Our first step was to introduce a crime reporting app in ‘Disc’, which has had an immediate impact with the business community.
“The addition of a dedicated police officer is another welcome boost. PC Cullimore has already introduced himself to businesses where his continuous presence and support will be invaluable. In the coming weeks we’ll be pulling together the city council’s enforcement team, Queensgate, City Link, Pub Watch and other partners to strengthen our approach in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre.”
More information about the campaign and the BID can be found on Peterborough Positive’s website.