Festive theft warning issued to meat retailers

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has urged butchers and farm shops to be cautious during the festive period. 

This comes after £12,000-worth of meat and cheese was stolen from a farm shop in Gamlingay. According to Cambridgeshire Constabulary, the incident took place between 12am and 2am on Sunday 11 December, with the theft of turkey, beef, lamb and chicken, which were stored in refrigerators.

A separate incident took place on 3 December in which more than £5,000-worth of meat and cheese was stolen from a property in the Bourn area.

Police are currently investigating the two incidents.

PCSO Leanne Fisher said: “We are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area at the time of these two incidents and may have seen something. We’d also like to hear from anyone who has been offered meat or cheese to purchase from an unfamiliar source.”

To help butchers and farm shops protect themselves, the police have published an online guide.

A spokesperson for the constabulary urged businesses to stay vigilant. “Make routine checks on your boundaries, doors, windows and gates to ensure all access points are closed and locked at the end of the working day. Make sure that windows are locked without keys being left in the lock. Make sure all your external doors have locks one-third from the top of the door, one-third from the bottom, as well as a strong central dead-bolt lock.”

The advice suggested business owners focus on weak points in the perimeter. “Consider perimeter security: Are there weak points where someone could enter without being seen? Do you have secure perimeter fencing/trees/walls and gates? For large boundaries think about using Perimeter Beam Alarms, which can cover long distances and may be cheaper to install than a physical boundary. These will then send an alert to your phone or a transponder to confirm that your boundary has been accessed.”

They advised installing security lighting and CCTV systems as these could help deter an “opportunist thief”.

They added that marking stock could be a way of catching the perpetrators even if produce was stolen. “Freeze-branding, hot-branding, or tattooing with your postcode can also help police to identify stock.”

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