There are eight training sessions taking place from 10 to 16 April

The police intelligence analysts behind Project Pegasus are rolling out training sessions to retailers to demonstrate how they can gather intelligence packages against organised retail crime groups.

Pegasus – which was announced in October as part of the government’s Retail Crime Action Plan – aims to build a national picture of organised criminals operating across the UK amid the shoplifting scourge.

In order to centralise intelligence gathered from various stores, the virtual training sessions will explain to retailers what the thresholds and requirements are for referring intelligence packages for the analysts to investigate. This process is set to officially start on 1 May, The Grocer understands.

The Project Pegasus analysts are working within national policing’s intelligence unit for serious and organised acquisitive crime, Opal.

“You may have an organised crime group targeting a chain of convenience stores in one region who are also using the same tactics in several different areas,” said Opal head of intelligence Stephanie Coombes.

“Without a national team to bring together that information, we could have several police forces each looking into the same group. Opal’s role is to centralise that intelligence, build a strong evidence package and then work with the relevant force/s to deal with these high harm offenders.

“We know that many retailers have intelligence built up through their own systems and processes and the training sessions aim to demonstrate how they can work with us to share that information so action can be taken.

“We need to stress that Opal’s service does not replace reporting incidents to your local police force, it is a route for sharing information and intelligence packages and one of the key requirements for making a referral is having a crime number for the related incident/s.

“We want to make it clear and straightforward for retailers, businesses, organisations and police forces to share information with us and the training sessions are an important element in achieving this.”

There are eight training sessions taking place from 10 to 16 April.