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    Westminster, Middlesbrough rated as worst cities in retail crime

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    Westminster and Middlesbrough as the worst cities in the context of shoplifting and retail crime, shows a recent data, suggesting that such offenses are more rife in certain areas as compared to others.

    According to the latest figures from the CrimeRate website, which aggregates the latest police force data, the north west came out as one of the areas hardest hit by shop thefts. During 2022, police received 295,917 crime reports about shoplifting, an increase of 24 per cent from 2021. The cities worst affected by shoplifting are Westminster, Middlesbrough, and Nottingham, with crime rates of 14, 12, and 12 per 1,000 residents respectively. The most dangerous region in terms of such crimes are Nottinghamshire, which recorded a shoplifting rate of nine offences per 1,000 people in 2022.

    The second most dangerous area for shoplifting is South Glamorgan, with a crime rate of nine, followed by Bristol in third, with a shoplifting rate of eight per 1,000 residents.

    The areas in England and Wales least affected by shoplifting are Harrow, Hackney and Wandsworth.

    The data comes amid rampant reports of retail crime, abuse towards shopworkers and organised looting.

    A coalition made up of ACS, the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the British Independent Retail Association, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Federation of Independent Retailers and shopworkers’ union Usdaw, has called for a commitment to tackling unprecedented levels of theft.

    Another research by BRC has revealed that incidents of theft have increased by 27 per cent across ten of the largest cities in the UK. The data also shows that the incidents grew by as much as 68 per cent in some cities.

    In addition, the trade association’s recent crime survey revealed that incidents of violence and abuse against retail employees increased from more than 450 per day in 2019-2020 to more than 850 per day last year.

    Crime against employees includes racial abuse, sexual abuse, physical assault and threats with weapons. In response to the rising retail crime, BRC has urged mayors, police and crime commissioners across the UK to improve retail workers’ protection measures.

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