Retailers should ‘move their checkout’ to stop shop theft, a top cop has said.

This incredible claim was made by a senior police officer from Greater Manchester Police in communication seen by Retail Express. 

The officer blasted stores that “refuse to even move the checkout to make it less easy to commit crime”, ignoring the cost burden it places on retailers, as well as the impracticality of implementing such a change in very small stores.

“There is much that businesses could and should be doing to prevent offences being committed in the first place,” the officer added.

They went on to praise stores that deal with all offenders themselves and use the civil route for recovery of loss without ever contacting the police.

It would seem that the force wants us to [control shoplifting] ourselves

Mike Greene, My Local

The senior officer said that police will not immediately respond to shoplifters unless they are deemed to pose threat, harm or risk, adding that resources are not infinite.

The claims come following a change in how Greater Manchester Police chooses which crimes to prioritise. GMP has said that its top priority is now cases involving violence or repeat offenders.

Last week, a My Local store in Manchester was informed that the force would no longer respond to cases of shoplifting.

Mike Greene, CEO of the My Local chain, slammed the change in priorities.

“It would seem that the force wants us to [control shoplifting] ourselves,” he told Retail Express.

Samantha Coldbeck, owner of Premier Wharfedale Convenience in Hull and a former special constable, said that she “wasn’t surprised” policing cuts had affected responses.

She added that retailers and the police need to form a partnership in order to tackle shoplifting.

“I prepare my own statements and CCTV if my store is victimised,” she said.

“If retailers could write a simple statement and provide CCTV footage, they’d be showing the police that they are willing to do some of the legwork, and there should be no reason for the police not to do their part.”