Our front page makes for grim reading for retailers that are plagued by crime in their stores.

Shoplifting accounted for more than half of all proceedings for theft offences in the past year, but the number of prosecutions declined – most likely not because there were fewer shoplifting incidents, but because retailers are being put off reporting them.

Not reporting crime skews the size of the problem, further harming the independent retailers’ cause

The limited and slow response many retailers receive from the police, followed by delayed and under-prepared court cases make it difficult to pursue convictions.

But, you have to keep reporting all incidents. As frustrating as it is to have to deal with little or no reaction from the police, not reporting crime skews the size of the problem, further harming the independent retailers’ cause. 

“Government funding is allocated on evidence. For the police budget to benefit the retail sector, crimes big and small need to be reported and logged,” Sam Coldbeck told us in her Magnificent 7 column.

This was backed up by Karen Bradley, Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation & Crime at the ACS Crime Report’s launch. “If a police officer is telling you you’re reporting too much crime, we need to know about it,” she said. “We want to see a change in attitude. Our biggest frustration is we often only find victims once they’ve ended up in A&E.”

Speak to your PCSOs, and keep telling the police. And if you don’t succeed with them, take it further and speak to your MP.

And tell us. We will shout about it for you. Because the authorities need to know what is really happening.

Retail crime survey

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