The number of shoplifting crimes recorded by police in England and Wales rose once again last year, according to the latest Office for National Statistics report.

The official figures show the number of shoplifting incidents rose 8% to 385,265 in the 12 months to December 2017, following a 10% increase for the year ending September 2017.

Violent offences such as knife crime and robbery also increased over the same period, up 22% and 33% respectively. The report revealed that offences tend to be disproportionately concentrated in London and other metropolitan areas.

Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) chief executive James Lowman said: “The continued rise in shop thefts is consistent with the survey data in our own Crime Report.  

”Shop theft incidents don’t just cost retailers financially, they are now the biggest single trigger for violence and verbal abuse against retailers and their staff. Where violent incidents take place, retailers must report them and the police must respond.”

The ACS launched its 2018 Crime Report and Guidance in March and is available to read here.