Dec 2023

Updates shared via the city centre & district business crime watch

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The update circulated just before Christmas by the Business Watch scheme team is that speeding is the new safer neighbourhood priority for St Albans, replacing the previous neighbourhood priority of purse dippings in the city centre. Your St Albans safer neighbourhood team will be focusing more attention on the areas identified by the participating members and public as causing the most concern – they are the A1081 Harpenden Road, Beaumont Avenue, Cell Barnes Lane, St Albans Road, Beaconsfield Road and King Harry Lane.

The team reported that Purse dippings decreased significantly following Operation Keepsake, a dedicated mix of uniformed and plain clothed officers who spotted and arrested people for thefts or distracting people outside ATMs. The two other neighbourhood priorities of begging, street drinking and anti-social behaviour in the city centre and anti-social behaviour in the Alban Way remain unchanged.

To address the begging and street drinking, neighbourhood officers regularly patrol the rose gardens and St Peter’s Street with colleagues from intervention to deter street drinking, begging and ASB. They seized dozens of bottles of alcohol which were being consumed in breach of the designated Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), and also removed people who were drunk or disorderly from licenced premises and continue to work with St Albans City & District Council and night shelters to support those wanting help with their addictions.

The other neighbourhood priority to remain is tackling anti-social behaviour, moped use and crime on the Alban Way. The team has been carrying out regular proactive patrols from Sopwell to Clarence wards with Operation Scorpion colleagues.

The Police’s St Albans Neighbourhood Team has provided below some crime prevention advice regarding Theft Offences occurring in St Albans Town Centre.

Since December 1st 2023, the team received 26 crime reports relating to shoplifting, theft from person and other ‘theft’ offences in St Albans Town Centre. In response to this, they are prioritising daily patrols in the area which are both high-visibility and plain clothes patrols. Whilst they hope these patrols reassure the public, residents and shoppers are reminded that Police Officers are obligated to present their Warrant Cards once identifying as such. To businesses and shoppers alike, please always request Officers to present their ID cards if they are not wearing uniform.

Useful advice to prevent yourself becoming a victim of theft whilst out and about

Cash Machines

Be careful when withdrawing money from an ATM. Is anyone loitering behind you? Is your PIN covered? Do not be distracted whilst completing your transaction.

Mobile Phones

Note down your IMEI number by typing *#06# into your phone. This will allow you to block it being used if it is stolen. Use a security PIN or password. Use a tracking app so that it can be quickly located if stolen.


Never leave your bag, phone, or keys unattended. Keep valuables in inside pockets or zipped bags.

The team say they can’t be everywhere, but they can be anywhere.

As always, if you see anything suspicious or concerning, please report to Police by calling 101 and 999 if it’s a crime in progress, someone suspected of carrying out a crime is nearby, or someone is being violent or threatening violence.