Dangerous thieves armed with knives and needles threaten Leicester shop staff

Retail staff are facing a growing number of threats from thieves armed with knives or dirty drugs needles, according to an anti-crime group.

The warning comes from Citywatch, who circulates photographs and details of active criminals to its members across the city.

They are receiving regular reports of thieves pulling knives or needles on staff and threatening to stab them.


Intelligence officer Graham Collins at Citywatch, said to the Leicester Mercury: “We’ve noticed an increase in threats to store guards and shop staff over the past few months.

“It’s not just knives, it’s syringes too and we’re hearing two or three cases a week at the moment.

“These incidents are being reported to us and to the police.

“We have cases of someone pulling out a needle and saying things like ‘I’m prepared to use this’ – the implication being they are dirty needles and they will use them to stab a member of staff who challenges them.

Image of knife

Thieves have pulled knives on shop staff in Leicester, says Citywatch 

“Needles without their caps on are being found on suspects and in their bags.

“The incidents involving needles tend to outnumber the ones with knives, I’d say.

“But we have an image of a man who pulled out a knife when a store guard stopped him and took him to a room at the back of the shop.

“He reached into his trousers and pulled the blade out. It must have been nine or 10 inches long.

“This was in a shop on the outskirts of the city and the staff had no choice but to back off and he made his escape.

“We hear other towns and cities are having similar problems and we have to nip it in the bud.

“Whether or not these are idle threats, the staff have to take them seriously.”

Published 23rd January 2018

Last updated 23rd January 2018