Retailers faced an 8% rise in shoplifting incidents last year, according to the latest crime figures from the Office for National Statistics.
In 2016, there were approximately 358,235 incidents of shop theft – a jump of more than 25,000 year on year.
As the ONS figures were released, James Lowman, chief executive of the ACS, took the opportunity to call on the Government to review out-of-court disposals. "A review is long overdue and the system needs to be reformed," he said.
"The police need to work closely with retailers to prevent shop theft and ensure that shop thieves are dealt with properly.
"Where there are serious penalties available for repeat shop thieves or organised criminals, we want to see these used more effectively so that shop theft is never perceived as a victimless crime or one that can be committed without consequences."
The ACS Crime Survey 2017 revealed that, on average, every convenience store loses £2,605 a year to shop theft. It found that the most common items stolen from convenience stores are alcohol, meat and confectionery.
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