Asda in Wisbech tightens security after alcohol thefts

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An Asda superstore plagued by thefts and violence has been ordered to tighten security after Cambridgeshire Police challenged its licence.

The store in Wisbech could have done more to prevent thefts by drunks and repeat offenders, police said.

There were 199 crimes at the store in North End between January 2011 and February 2013, including 66 alcohol thefts or violent incidents.

Asda said staff were taking a more "robust" attitude to incidents.

Fenland District Council's licensing committee heard on Friday the store now employed extra security guards from Thursday to Saturday.

Street drinking concerns

The meeting was told many alcohol-related thefts were by "repeat offenders or intoxicated persons" who could have been turned away.

Police said the store had failed to take part in crime prevention initiatives and that managers had not responded "constructively" to concerns over street drinking in the town centre.

It was agreed the store would join a computer-based scheme linking it to other shops and enabling it to report incidents.

Signs warning CCTV is in operation are also to be displayed in the store's alcohol section.

The committee recognised security measures could bring improvements.

An Asda spokesman said: "We have robust measures in place and are pleased the licensing committee recognised this.

"We have an agreed plan with the police and will continue to support them in reducing incidents in the local community."

Sgt Dave Bax, based at Wisbech Police Station, said: "We're pleased with the outcomes following the licensing committee review and are keen to work with Asda to reduce alcohol-related crime in the store further."

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