A high-profile retailer has reached the end of his tether over the lack of police response to retail crime following an in-store shoplifting incident on Christmas Day.

Spar Lindford in Hampshire suffered a theft of multiple cases of Coca-Cola by a group of three males on 25 December, but the police refused to take action. The store is also recovering from an ATM ram-raid last year.

Store owner Julian Taylor-Green told C-Store: “We are completely on our own. Just constantly being told there’s nothing the police can do.

“We were open on Christmas day for a few hours with a few employees on, including myself, and three lads came in and looked like they were going to try and nick alcohol. They saw that we had quite a few people on that day and got spooked. They grabbed some cases of coke next to the front door and ran.

“We pulled the CCTV down and emailed it off to the police. But, we’ve been told they aren’t going to do anything. It was apparently an insignificant value and not a good use of police time. Anybody can walk in and out and take something and get away with it because it isn’t high value to police. It is getting worse and worse. If it’s under £75 they will not respond.”

Julian took to social media in an attempt to self-police. “We put the CCTV stills out on Facebook and got over 12,000 hits on Facebook page because of that. We’ve been told they’ve been banned from other stores in the area and were forwarded their names and addresses and so on by people.

“We passed all this information onto the police but we have now been told that the people in the property aren’t known to them so they cannot do anything about it. I’ve spoken to police who were sympathetic and say it falls out of home office guidelines so can’t really help. It leaves the business very vulnerable,” he added.

On average, each convenience store spends £4,242 on crime prevention per year, with CCTV the top area for investment, according to the ACS crime report 2018.