Two men arrested after students in Bede Park forced to withdraw £250 from cashpoint

By Jacob Moseley 

Two men have been charged with carrying out three robberies in Leicester’s Bede Park.

The men were arrested after two De Montfort University (DMU) students were threatened and made to withdraw £250 from the Co-op cashpoint at the end of Briton Street on Saturday(FEB16).

The suspects have been charged with that offence, plus two other robberies, including on Thursday last week. They were remanded into police custody after the courts granted officers extra time to question them further.

The two victims were walking away from DMU on Saturday when they were approached by the men near the children’s play area.

Detectives have since urged anyone who may have been a victim of a robbery across Leicester and not reported the incidents to the police to do so.

They have been investigating since October last year after various victims reported being approached and threatened before cash and mobile phones were stolen.

In some cases a knife was mentioned but not seen. No-one was injured during the incidents but have understandably been left quite shaken by what happened.

Police launched Operation Hologram in recent weeks to tackle the robberies and officers have been carrying out extensive enquiries including trawling CCTV and speaking to people in the area.

Detective Constable Dan Thorpe, who is investigating the incidents, said: “We know some offences that have occurred may not have been reported to the police and we’re urging those victims to come forward.

“There may be many reasons for not reporting it but we can only tackle this issue if we have a full picture of when and where the offences have occurred and obtained suspect descriptions.

“If you have been a victim or have any information about the incidents please get in touch. We’d like to reassure those living and working in the area that we are taking these reports extremely seriously and ask the public to remain vigilant and think about their personal safety when out and about.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact DC 1097 Thorpe on 101 or Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.

Shoppers offer thoughts on rise of shoplifting in UK supermarkets

By Beatriz Abreu Ferreira

A worrying rise in shoplifting has been met by varying opinions on what can be done to combat the trend.

Shoplifting in the UK rose by eight per cent between 2014 and 2017, according to recent figures gathered by the Press Association (PA).

The chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, James Lowman, told the BBC: “The numbers of reported thefts pale in comparison to the reality of retail crime. In total, we estimated over 950,000 incidents of theft in convenience stores last year.”

People on the De Montfort University campus gave their thoughts on why criminals are increasingly targeting the supermarkets.

Leicestershire Police’s Knife Amnesty Week begins

By Bethany Spence

People are being urged to safely dispose of any potentially harmful knives by handing them over to city officials following the launch yesterday (Mon Feb 12) of an amnesty week by Leicestershire Police.

This scheme runs in conjunction with Operation Sceptre, the Home Office’s national week of activity aimed at tackling knife crime and related offences.

The campaign was launched to combat the steadily rising figures of serious weapons-related crimes over the past few years.

The Leicestershire Police scheme coincided yesterday afternoon with a meat cleaver being taken from a man arrested in the city centre by police on patrol.

Anyone in possession of any dangerous weapons can hand them in to the weapons bins located in the front offices of police stations in places such as Wigston, Spinney Hills, and the city centre.

Those who volunteer their arms will not be punished for possession, as long as they have not been used in any criminal activities.

In 2016, a similar amnesty ended with the collection of a total of 193 knives, ranging from machetes, samurai swords and meat cleavers from the streets of Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland.

All knives collected from police forces across the UK were then used by Shropshire artist, Alfie Bradley, to create a 26ft Knife Angel Sculpture to highlight the issue. It is still on display today at the British Ironwork Centre.