Hike in shoplifting as unemployment figures rise

Shoplifting jumped by a third last year, according to an annual survey of UK retailers, with garden centres seeing double the theft they expected in 2009.

The British Retail Consortium said high levels of unemployment, rising poverty and a squeeze on credit may have driven increasing numbers of customers to steal. Director Stephen Robertson called for tougher sentencing for shoplifters. The survey found large-format supermarkets and DIY stores were the worst hit.

The HTA has published a new retail security guidance note, run profit protection workshops and launched a new security advice line — 07889 719690.

Latest reported crimes to hit garden centres include the theft of butterfly and insect statues from the new Dobbies garden centre in Shepton Mallet on New Year's Eve.

 

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