Shop theft climbs to highest volume since 2003

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (2)
  • Save

Shop theft has increased annually by 5% according to the Office for National Statistics, the highest volume since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in 2003. 

The figures show that there were approximately 349,296 incidents of shop theft in the year ending September 2015, over 17,000 more than the previous year. 

Raaj Chandarana, owner of Tara’s News in High Wycombe, said the police did not prioritise crime at convenience stores. 

“The police don’t really want to know when it comes to retail crime at convenience stores, unless someone is physically hurt or weapons are involved. If you are a neighbourhood store you won’t get the police’s attention, instead you might get community officers if you’re lucky, but if you are a town centre store you are slightly more likely to get help,” he said. 

“Because there is no deterrent and no justice anymore, offenders will reoffend. The ACS is doing some good work on bringing attention to the issue and I hope it makes a difference.” 

Jatinder Sahota, owner of Max’s Londis in Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey, said: “I feel let down by the police in this area, I used to have a strong relationship with my PCSO’s but it seems that the police attitude towards retail crime has changed and it isn’t treated like a serious crime anymore. We have to email CCTV footage to them and they don’t come out to us anymore and that’s the last you hear about it sometimes.”

Figures from the ACS Crime Survey (2016) shows that shop theft alone cost the convenience sector over £43m between 2015-16, despite millions being spent on investment in crime prevention measures over the same time period. 

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Shop theft is a crime that needs be taken seriously—as these figures show, theft is rising and we need the government and police to make sure there is a robust response to shop theft, working closely with retailers. 

“In light of these figures, we also reiterate our call for retailers to report every incident to ensure that retail crime does not go underreported. Convenience stores are at the heart of our communities and their safety and concerns for their livelihoods cannot be ignored.” 

ACS will release the results of its 2017 Crime Survey on 9 March at the Crime Seminar in London. The seminar will hear from industry experts about how to successfully tackle retail crime. 

Readers' comments (2)

  • I'm not surprised theft is on the increase. Police will no longer come out to a crime if value is below £20. We had an incident sometime ago where a female customer stole 2 bottles of cider. Staff member followed her to her house. I reported it to the police explaining what exactly happened and where the culprit was living. I was told that an officer will call back. Instead I received an email stating that due to the theft being of a low value it would cost more to send an officer down.

    As soon as I recieved that email I phoned the officer in question and explained that I know where she lives. But he was not having any of it instead reiterated what was said in email.

    In my opinion this is encouraging more theft as thieves know they can get away with it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It’s not surprising the police attitude to low level crime as priority of resources is what we are now dealing with here. I feel deterrent is the only weapon left to deal with this kind of theft. I am not surprised that the figures are climbing as benefit cut and reduction in staff due to minimum wage etc. has allowed shoplifters to get away with it. Shoplifters are fully aware of all this and are taking advantage of it. Cutting staff may not be as attractive as it once looked in dealing with increased operating costs especially at busy periods when shoplifting is at its highest.

    Arjan Mehr Londis Bracknell

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory

Related images

  • Shop theft climbs to highest volume since 2003
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (2)
  • Save
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

FOLLOW US