New research on shoplifting offences shows rise in the UK - but there is a decrease in the Thames Valley

An infographic showing the number of shoplifting offences committed in different police force areas across the UK
An infographic showing the number of shoplifting offences committed in different police force areas across the UK

New research has showed a rise in shoplifting offences across the UK, however there has been a decrease here in the Thames Valley.

A total of 378,725 shoplifting incidents were recorded during the financial year of April 2017 – March 2018 across 42 police forces - a 4% increase from the previous year.

The research was conducted by online marketplace OnBuy.Com which found that the Metropolitan Police had the highest number of shoplifting offences at 46,840 – the equivalent of 128 incidents a day in the capital.

West Midlands Police followed, with 19,851 incidents of shoplifting reported.

In third place, was West Yorkshire Police, with 18,491 cases of shoplifting recorded – a 3% increase from the year before (April 2016 – March 2017 - 17,906).

In fifth place was our local force Thames Valley Police who recorded 16,673 incidents of shoplifting in 2017-18.

This is a 2% decrease from the previous year (April 2016- March 2017), where there were 16,980 shoplifting offences.

Dyfed-Powys Police had the lowest number of shoplifting cases, with only 1,861 reported.

Despite this, out of all the forces that supplied data they saw the highest year-on-year increase in shoplifting at 21%.

Thames Valley’s neighbouring forces ranked as follows - Hampshire - 7th, Hertfordshire - 19th, Northamptonshire - 29th and Bedfordshire - 38th.

Analysing the research Cas Paton, managing director of OnBuy.com 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.”