Retailers across the country are teaming up to create and maintain a national database of the most prolific and persistent shop thieves. Local retail crime partnerships from 35 towns and seven police forces will link up in September and pool data, pictures, video footage and intelligence on thieves operating in their locality, said BRC security chief Mike Schuck. Although local initiatives are very effective, they don't tackle the problem of travelling thieves, said Schuck. By adopting a national, co-ordinated approach, the new Business Information Crime System allows retailers to share data and target resources more effectively. From September this year, intelligence managers at retail crime partnerships ­ groups of retailers in a locality that share data ­ will relay video footage, pictures and stealing patterns of thieves to other partnerships so shoplifters cannot travel from town to town without detection. "Two thirds of retail crime is committed by 7% of the criminal fraternity," said BICS project manager Bill Price. "It was only when larger retailers like M&S started sharing data within the group that they realised the same people were stealing from them in different areas." Price is in discussions with the multiples about bolting on their own intelligence gathering systems on to BICS. The brainchild of credit card security expert Retail Decisions, the BRC and the Midlands Retail Crime Initiative, BICS was set up last year with government cash. {{NEWS }}