Worst shoplifting regions identified

Retail security firm Checkpoints Systems said Britain's shops collectively lose £800m per year due to shoplifting and offered tips to curtail the crime.

Image: onbuy.com
Image: onbuy.com
Utilising data derived from data.police.co.uk, OnBuy.com investigated the total number of shoplifting offences that were recorded by 43 police forces/constabularies across England and Wales in the financial year of 2016-17 (April 2016 – March 2017). Shoplifting per the police is defined as the "theft from shops or stalls" and has been recognised as the biggest crime in garden centres. The forthcoming Christmas season sees 38% of all annual shoplifting thefts.
The research revealed that the Metropolitan Police had the highest number of shoplifting offences at an 47,580 – equivalent to 130 incidents a day. Metropolitan Police was closely followed by West Midlands Police, which recorded 19,741 incidences of shoplifting. Third was Greater Manchester Police, with 18,002 shoplifting offences.
City of London Police registered the lowest number of shoplifting cases, with only 729 reported – the equivalent of 2 occurrences every day. Dyfed-Powys Police had more than double the figure of City of London, with 1,533 shoplifting offenses. Above Dyfed-Powys Police was Cumbria Constabulary, who had 2,819 incidences of shoplifting.
OnBuy.com's recommendations to prevent shoplifting:
  • Train employees to watch out for behaviours which shoplifters typically display such as paying more attention to their surroundings than the items, repeatedly picking up then putting down the same item(s) and ignoring any attempts to help or engage with them.

  • Have one employee always at the front of the shop greeting customers as they come in. This will be a clear indication to any potential shoplifter(s) that staff are aware of them and paying attention to their actions/behaviour.

  • Carefully identify items which are most likely to be stolen, either through previous experiences or of their high value. Store them in cabinets with locks or keep them behind the counter.

  • Display signs throughout the store clearly stating, ‘shoplifters will be prosecuted’ and CCTV in use.

  • Where possible use low-level aisles so staff can see customers at all times. Identity blind spots and then use mirrors to provide a vantage point in these areas. The addition of bright lighting will also make shoplifters feel like the spotlight is always on them.

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