Shoplifting grows in England and Wales, new data shows

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Retailers in England and Wales have been hit by a 4% increase in shoplifting, with over 378,725 offences reported in 2017-18, new data reveals.

The data was compiled from 42 police forces by online marketplace

The capital’s Metropolitan Police recorded the highest number of shoplifting incidences at 46,840 – the equivalent of 128 incidents a day, although this was down 2% year on year.

West Midlands Police followed, with 19,851 incidences of shoplifting reported, up 1% on the year before.

In third place, was West Yorkshire Police, with 18,491 shoplifting incidences recorded, a 3% increase from the year before.

In Carmarthenshire, Wales, Dyfed-Powys Police had the lowest number of shoplifting incidences at 1,861, however, the force experienced the highest year-on-year percentage increase at 21%.

Cas Paton, managing director of said: “The findings from this research are intriguing. With the overall number of shoplifting incidents increasing from the previous year, it’s a crime which is financially burdening retailers.

“It’s unfortunate because many owners spend a lot of time, money and energy ensuring all aspects of their operations are running effectively and efficiently.

“Whilst shoplifting may seem difficult to prevent, there are certain cost-effective precautions retailers can take to deter shoplifters from targeting them. Precautions such as training employees to identify the behaviours associated with shoplifters and appropriate signage to warn potential offenders about the seriousness of the matter”.

To help deter shoplifters also recommends that retailers face up products to create a solid wall on the shelves, ensure that one member of staff is always located at the front of the store to greet customers as they enter and to train employees to spot typical shoplifting behaviours, such as being in the same aisle for a long period of time, wearing bulky clothing when it is warm outside, and repeatedly looking around when picking up items.  


Readers' comments (1)

  • Yes, shoplifting isn't the easiest thing to try and prevent but a technique we use is linked series identification. We link offenders to multiple offences and then have them dealt with in one instance.

    This saves the courts, police and the retailers time as they only have to deal with the offender once. This also reduces the chance of court appearances for witnesses and victims due to more early guilty pleas due to the amount of evidence against the offender.

    Furthermore, it also leads to longer custodial sentences rather than the defendant being able to say its a one off even though they have more than likely been to court on several occasions for single offences.

    We have proven that this is effective when trying to reduce theft at a venue as the offender moves on to other locations upon being released from prison as they don't want to get linked to multiple offences again. If your venue is known as an easy target, thieves talk to each other and more will flock to your venue.

    Its time to reduce business crime.

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