Theft: Retail Trade

Home Office written question – answered am ar 25 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

The Government recognises the significant impact shoplifting has on businesses, communities, and consumers. The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows neighbourhood crime is down 51% compared to findings from the year ending March 2010.

However, Police Recorded Crime figures show shoplifting offences increased by 32% in the 12 months to September 2023. Statistics also show the number of people charged with shoplifting offences has risen by 34% in the year ending September 2023, showing that police are taking action.

We have recently taken significant steps to improve the police response to retail crime, including shoplifting.

In October 2023, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) published the Retail Crime Action Plan. Through this Plan, all forces across England and Wales have committed to prioritise police attendance at the scene where violence has been used towards shop staff, where an offender has been detained by store security, and where evidence needs to be secured and can only be done by police personnel. Additionally, where CCTV or other digital images are secured, police will run this through the Police National Database to aid efforts to identify prolific offenders or potentially dangerous individuals.

This builds on the NPCC commitment that police forces across England and Wales will follow up all crimes where there is actionable evidence and the chance of identifying an offender, including shoplifting.

October also saw the launch of Pegasus, a unique private-public partnership, which involves retailers providing data, intelligence and evidence to Opal, the national police intelligence unit on organised acquisitive crime, to develop a better strategic picture and help forces crack down on serious offenders.

We are continuing to work closely with retail businesses, security representatives, trade associations and policing through the National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG), which meets on a quarterly basis, to ensure the response to retail crime, including shoplifting, is as robust as it can be.

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