Collective partnership working co-ordinated by NBCS Connect, results in a violent offender in Sussex being served a prison sentence for 2 counts of assault and a large volume of theft offences.


Joanne Cook has been a target of interest to the NBCS and its members since December 2022. Known to be violent and aggressive, Cook posed more than just a threat to retail stock, but she frequently would assault members of staff and police officers who tried to stop her theft attempts.

With over 50 shop theft and assault offences under her belt, she showed no signs of stopping her streak and was successful in evading police. She soon became the subject of an NBCS Series Linked Investigation. Working closely with Sussex Police and our members, requests for potential sightings of Cook were circulated across the NBCS member network. These alerts warned our community that she was not to be approached if seen, due to her hostile nature. With a search well underway for her detainment, intelligence was fed through to the NBCS by members and circulated to the Police and this outstanding pipeline of data was what eventually lead to Cook’s arrest.

She appeared before Brighton magistrates court on the 28th February and charges with over 50 violations, receiving 44 weeks imprisonment for her shoplifting offences and an additional 4 weeks for the assaults on shopworkers and police officers. In total, Cook received a 52-week prison sentence. Thanks to the hard work and persistence of our partners, NBCS and Sussex Police, Cook’s abusive streak will be put to rest for a while!

Violence and abuse against staff members, continues to lead the way as the single most important issue for retailers. According to the BRC Crime Survey 2022, in 2020-2021, every 1000 employees that experienced abuse in the workplace by an offender, there were 155 violent incidents. This 2022 survey also underlined that there were 21 incidents a day of violence with injury; 104 a day of violence without injury; and 1176 abusive incidents a day; double what it was in 2021 at 455 incidents.

Is your business being targeted by individuals like Joanne? If so, NBCS Connect Direct could help. This type of collaborative approach has been proven to drastically to reduce risk against businesses and its people.

Why not contact the NBCS at
to find out more.

Back to case studies