News & Events

The scourge of shoplifting

December 21, 2017

21st December – Analysis of UK Police crime data indicates that shoplifting remains a major issue for retailers, with the number of incidents recorded between 1 January and 30 November 2017 up 8.4% compared with the same period last year.

The shoplifting league table

Just five of the UK’s 44 police forces reported a decrease in shoplifting this year. At the top and bottom of the league table were Northamptonshire, which recorded 362 fewer incidents in 2017 (-7.5%), and Lincolnshire, where retail crime surged by almost a third (+32.8%).

Despite this, the stats indicate that shoplifting is truly a national problem, not confined to specific regions of the UK. After Lincolnshire, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire, Devon, Cornwall and Humberside – covering all four corners of the country – have recorded the highest increases in shoplifting over the last year. 

Just the tip of the iceberg

However, the 360,000 reported incidents are likely to just be the tip of the iceberg. It’s difficult to identify and apprehend thieves, therefore the perpetrators simply continue to commit crimes until they are caught. The British Retail Consortium’s most recent Annual Crime Survey estimating that shoplifters cost stores a staggering £438m in 2016.

Neville Payne VP at Checkpoint Systems UK, commented:

“Retailers have been aware of shoplifting since trading first began, but dishonest shoppers continue to be a thorn in their sides. As they become smarter it’s important for vendors like us to develop new solutions to help keep businesses one step ahead, both in terms of deterring and detecting potential thefts.”

UK shoplifting league table

  Incidents of shoplifting (January-November 2016) Incidents of shoplifting (January-November 2017) Percentage change (2016 vs 2017)
Lincolnshire Police 3864 5132 32.82%
Cheshire Constabulary 5390 6704 24.38%
Cambridgeshire Constabulary 4023 4980 23.79%
Devon & Cornwall Police 6019 7425 23.36%
Humberside Police 6684 8234 23.19%
Northumbria Police 7392 8939 20.93%
Police Service of Northern Ireland 11352 13615 19.93%
Dyfed-Powys Police 1418 1684 18.76%
South Wales Police 8149 9669 18.65%
Staffordshire Police 6286 7364 17.15%
Wiltshire Police 3257 3799 16.64%
Lancashire Constabulary 7368 8538 15.88%
Surrey Police 3545 4045 14.10%
Hampshire Constabulary 11139 12636 13.44%
Gwent Police 3395 3834 12.93%
North Yorkshire Police 3835 4330 12.91%
Durham Constabulary 3490 3930 12.61%
Cleveland Police 6297 7065 12.20%
Warwickshire Police 2900 3233 11.48%
Kent Police 10147 11247 10.84%
Thames Valley Police 14787 16359 10.63%
Gloucestershire Constabulary 3195 3530 10.49%
Suffolk Constabulary 3493 3855 10.36%
Hertfordshire Constabulary 6698 7383 10.23%
North Wales Police 3528 3868 9.64%
West Yorkshire Police 15756 17192 9.11%
South Yorkshire Police 10673 11521 7.95%
Derbyshire Constabulary 5694 6118 7.45%
Greater Manchester Police 15804 16573 4.87%
Norfolk Constabulary 4083 4259 4.31%
Sussex Police 7553 7831 3.68%
Leicestershire Police 5932 6147 3.62%
Dorset Police 3920 4050 3.32%
Cumbria Constabulary 2555 2638 3.25%
West Mercia Police 6239 6366 2.04%
Metropolitan Police Service 43103 43943 1.95%
West Midlands Police 18028 18316 1.60%
Merseyside Police 8721 8856 1.55%
Scotland Police Forces* 28424 28650 0.79%
Bedfordshire Police 3737 3679 -1.55%
Essex Police 9405 9125 -2.98%
Avon and Somerset Constabulary 11694 11292 -3.44%
Nottinghamshire Police 5716 5336 -6.65%
Northamptonshire Police 4827 4465 -7.50%
TOTAL 331675 359677 8.44%

 

*Data from Scotland is not a direct comparison as statistics are collected from 6 April to 5 April the following year

 

ends

 

For more information please contact:

Adam Craig, Storm Communications, adam.craig@stormcom.co.uk, 07941 257 004

Anna-Louise Fairtlough, Storm Communications, anna-louise.fairtlough@stormcom.co.uk, 020 7240 2444

Tom Derrick, Storm Communications, tom.derrick@stormcom.co.uk, 020 7240 2444

 

 

About Checkpoint Systems, Inc. (www.checkpointsystems.com)

 

Checkpoint Systems is a global leader in merchandise availability solutions for the retail industry, encompassing loss prevention and merchandise visibility. A division of CCL Industries, Checkpoint’s solutions are built upon 45 years of radio frequency technology expertise, innovative high-theft and loss-prevention solutions, market-leading software, RFID hardware and comprehensive labeling capabilities to brand, secure and track merchandise from source to shelf.