The NFRN has reiterated its call for stronger punishments for offenders who commit crimes against retailers, in the light of new government findings.

According to the Home Office’s 2013 Commercial Victimisation survey, instances of shoplifting were highest in urban areas, with 11,425 incidents reported per 1,000 premises.

London was the region with the highest rate of crimes in England and Wales, with 30,466 incidents per 1,000 premises.

Commenting on the findings, NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said: “It is clear that the government needs to introduce tougher measures to combat the problem of retail crime. The figures from this survey are shocking enough, but when you consider that many incidents go unreported, the figure could potentially be far higher than any of us realise.

“Independent retailers want to see the government introduce tougher punishments for those who are caught shoplifting and provide additional protections to retailers who are victims of violent crime.

“With the Private Members’ Bill Ballot just a week away, providing MPs with the chance to introduce a Bill of their choosing, I hope that those selected will consider introducing measures to give retailers the protection and reassurance they deserve.”