Force’s top PCSO has helped crack over 100 shop thefts

A Black Country community police officer has been named West Midlands Police’s PCSO of the Year after identifying more than 100 shoplifters in just nine months!

PCSO Victoria Rogers has been hailed the pride of Dudley by retailers who’ve turned to her for help in catching some of town centre’s most prolific thieves.

The 39-year-old has been a PCSO since 2001 – having previously patrolled in Stourbridge and Brierley Hill – and for the last four years has worked in the retail heart of the borough.

During that time she’s struck up close working relationships with store security staff and also developed a ‘spot-on-sight’ knowledge of the region’s problem shoplifters.

Victoria – who’s also played a lead role in tackling the sale of counterfeit cigarettes in the town – personally ensures that CCTV evidence is quickly viewed and seized, prepares statements and uploads offender ‘wanted’ reports on national police systems.

Since last June, she’s identified offenders responsible for a total of 126 shop theft offences – many of whom have been handed jail sentences and orders banning them from entering the town centre. She said:

“I’ve got under the skin of our most prolific offenders: I know where they frequent, I know their tactics, and I can spot them from across a busy shopping centre. I wanted to focus on speeding up the process of identifying suspects.

"Some stores were being hit by the same offenders several times a week so time was of the essence. I take great personal pride in helping store staff whose working day is blighted by shoplifters and we’ve had great success in tackling the problem.”

Victoria’s latest success came on April 23rd when light-fingered Martin Bill was arrested for a shoplifting spree at Wilko in Dudley High Street. The 43-year-old, from Cole Street in Netherton, appeared at Dudley Magistrates Court the following day when he was given a community order, told to pay £252 in compensation for the stolen items and £270 costs.

In January, a 40-year-old man was jailed for 36 weeks for shoplifting bottles of spirits from ASDA and £100 in cosmetics from Superdrug, while a pair of prolific thieves left the area after being given Criminal Behaviour Orders banning them from the town centre. Last month Victoria was named West Midlands Police’s PCSO of the Year at the force annual awards ceremony held at the National Motorcycle Museum.

“It was amazing to win,” added Victoria. “There were some brilliant PCSO colleagues on the shortlist who’ve done great work in Wolverhampton, Coventry and Solihull so it was quite a surprise when my name was read out.”

Gerry Wintrip from Dudley Council’s trading standards teams, added: “We’ve worked closely with Vicky in the last couple of years to particularly tackle the trade of illicit tobacco in the town centre.

"Thanks to the intelligence Vicky has provided and support in our operations, we’ve been able to make large seizures of illegal tobacco products from retail premises on 11 occasions and successfully prosecute a number of traders in the last 12 months. She’s a credit to the force and a deserving winner of PSCO of the Year.”


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