Retailers and wholesalers experienced more crime than any other commercial sector over the past year, the Home Office revealed today.

The figures from the latest Commercial Victimisation Survey show that 40% of retail and wholesale premises were victims of crime last year, resulting in the industry experiencing eight times more crime than the next most affected sector. There were 4.7m crimes committed on wholesale and retail premises in 2015.

According to the Home Office, almost three-quarters of reported crimes were thefts committed by shoppers. The report found that the median cost per incident of shoplifting was £40, while the median cost per victim was £300.

In March, the ACS Crime Survey showed that theft cost stores £43m last year, with just 37% of retailers experiencing no theft in their stores. The ACS also found that it wasn’t just customer crime that was damaging revenue – the cost of staff theft to the sector last year was £19m.

“Shop theft is a damaging crime that takes both an economic and human toll on convenience store retailers and their staff,” said James Lowman, chief executive of the ACS.

“We urge retailers to continue to report shop theft where it occurs, and for the police and justice system to treat these offences seriously.”

In its Modern Crime Prevention Strategy, which was released last month, the Home Office pledged to establish a Modern Crime Prevention Forum, which will include representatives from the retail sector.