The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has urged retailers to report incidents of shop theft to the police following a fall in reported incidents.

According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics’ annual Crime Survey for England and Wales, which covers the whole of retail, the number of police recorded shop theft incidents for the year ending June 2019 decreased by 4% to 368,745 offences.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The continuing trend of ONS figures showing a decrease in the overall number of shop thefts being recorded by the police does not reflect what we see in our sector.

“Frustration with the lack of response and intervention to stop repeat offenders has led to significant under reporting of incidents like theft. We urge retailers to report all incidents of shop theft to provide an accurate picture to police forces.”

Figures from the ACS 2019 Crime Report show that the issue retailers are most concerned about in their stores is violence against their staff. There is also a clear link between theft and abuse, with challenging shop thieves being the number one cause of aggressive behaviour in stores.