Comparing the end of year stats on police recorded shoplifting clearly demonstrates the trend:
|+23 per cent||-1 per cent||-29 per cent||-2 per cent||-3 per cent||+8 per cent|
“Having to deal with repeated and persistent shoplifters can cause issues beyond the theft itself like anxiety, fear and in some cases physical harm to retail workers. This 23 per cent increase in shoplifting shows the effect of Covid restrictions being lifted in stores last year. Social distancing and limiting the number of customers in stores does make life more difficult for shoplifters. The cost of living crisis is also a factor and theft from shops in itself contributes to rising prices as retailers try to recover losses.
“Our annual survey found that three-quarters of retail workers suffered abuse from customers, with far too many experiencing threats and violence. Theft from shops was the trigger for nearly a third of these incidents last year. Particularly concerning is that just over half of those who did the survey said they were not confident that reporting these issues will make any difference.
“Faced with such appallingly high levels of violence and abuse, and with many shopworkers’ lacking confidence in the ability of the system to give them the protection they need, much more needs to be done. The Government must provide the coordination needed to ensure that retail employers, police and the courts work together to make stores safe places for our members to work and for customers to shop.”