More than 18 shop owners are victims of cash and carry robberies every month, according to police crime records.

Freedom of Information requests sent by betterRetailing to the UK’s police authorities uncovered 436 incidents of theft from a person or vehicle outside cash and carries from 2017 to 2018.

Of the 45 police forces contacted, 75% provided data and 33% provided crime breakdowns for individual cash and carries in their area.

The most dangerous areas for retailers in ascending order were Greater Manchester, Merseyside, London, the Thames Valley area and the West Midlands. Collectively, these areas account for 50% of cash and carry robberies.

The figures do not include robberies in transit, the 25% of police forces – including Police Scotland and Northern Ireland – that failed to provide data, or cases where it was not possible to determine the victim of the offence, meaning the figures presented are a conservative estimate.

Former NFRN West-Midlands district president, and Samra Supermarket owner Manjit Samra added that some retailers were failing to report incidents to the police. He told betterRetailing: “If they are not insured, people often don’t want to go to the police because they don’t want people to know what happened to them. I’ve had several shop owners tell me this.”

The average retailer robbed lost £1,618.66, but some claims submitted to police were as high as £10,000 in stock and cash.

Data from West Midlands Police revealed the most dangerous depots to be Blakemore on Rose Hill Road in Willenhall, where 10 retailers were targeted during the two-year period.

This was followed by Booker on Stafford Road in Wolverhampton, Bestway on Refern Road in Birmingham, and Blakemore on Coxwell Avenue in Wolverhampton. All suffered eight robberies each during the same period.

What are wholesalers doing to protect you at their depots? Find out here in our exclusive investigation