As retail security firm, Checkpoints Systems, has revealed that Britain’s shops collectively lose £800 million per year as a result of shoplifting, OnBuy.com has investigated further to find out where the blackspots are in terms of location and used its findings to provide preventative advice to shop staff in those areas.
Utilising data derived from data.police.co.uk, OnBuy.com investigated the total number of shoplifting offences that were recorded by 43 police forces across England and Wales in the financial year of 2016-17 (April 2016 – March 2017).
The research revealed that the Metropolitan Police had the highest number of shoplifting offences at 47,580, the equivalent of 130 incidents a day. West Midlands Police had the next highest number, with 19,741 incidences of shoplifting
reported, while Greater Manchester Police were in third place, with 18,002 shoplifting offenses. City of London Police had the lowest number of shoplifting cases, with only 729 reported, the equivalent of two occurrences every day.
Dyfed-Powys Police had more than double the figure of City of London, with 1,533 shoplifting offences, Cumbria Constabulary had 2,819 incidents.
Managing Director of OnBuy.com, Cas Paton, commented:
“The figures are certainly fascinating. Shoplifting is more prevalent than we would like to think. Considering the amount of time and energy shops put into running various aspects of their operation daily, shoplifting is really an unfortunate occurrence for them. Whilst it may feel unavoidable, shops can certainly take various steps to prevent shoplifters from targeting them.
Simple steps such as better staff training to identify potential shoplifters and storing high value items more securely can go a long way when dealing with the problem of shoplifters.”
OnBuy’s top five tips to effectively prevent and reduce shoplifting include training 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; having one employee always at the front of the shop greeting customers as they come in to indicate to potential shoplifters that staff are aware of them and paying attention to their behaviour; carefully identifying items which are most likely to be stolen, either through previous experiences or because of their high value, and taking the necessary precautions to make them a harder target to steal; displaying an adequate number of signs throughout the store clearly stating, ‘shoplifters will be prosecuted’ and announcing that the store is protected by security cameras (even if they can’t be visibly seen); using low-level aisles so staff can see customers at all times and using mirrors on blind spots, as well as bright lighting. For further details, www.onbuy.com