Ten shop chains have been cooperating covertly for almost two years with the federal police, to fight against itinerant organised gangs. Het Laatste Nieuws is reporting on Friday that the method, which has proven effective, will now be extended to all major brands.
The principle is very simple: when shopkeepers believe they are up against an organised gang, as opposed to one-off thieves, they tell the police through a secure platform. They are able to post surveillance camera images, photos or statements. The police then compare this data to their search for potential links.
As alluded to above ten large shop chains have taken part in the pilot project, launched in 2016. From this week, all members of the trade federation, Comeos, can participate. This includes pharmacies and banks.
Since the platform, named “Commerce Information Network” launched, 2,000 incidents have been reported. In half of all cases, information provided has led to a fruitful operation.