An 8% rise in recorded shoplifting incidents has been revealed in the latest figures released by The Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the year ending December 2016 in England and Wales.

The figures show that there were approximately 358,235 incidents of shop theft in 2016, which is over 25,000 more incidents than in 2015. The figures support ACS’ own crime survey which also showed an increase in shop theft.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “On average every local shop loses £2,605 per year or the equivalent to 7p crime tax for consumers on every transaction because of shop theft. The police need to work closely with retailers to prevent shop theft and ensure that shop thieves are dealt with properly.”

“Where there are serious penalties available for repeat shop thieves or organised criminals, we want to see these used more effectively so that shop theft is never perceived as a victimless crime or one that can be committed without consequences. The Government’s review of out-of-court disposals is long overdue and this system needs to be reformed.”

Figures from the ACS Crime Survey 2017 show that shop theft alone cost the convenience sector over £232m between 2016-17, despite millions being spent on investment in crime prevention measures over the same time period. The most common items stolen from convenience stores are alcohol, meat and confectionary items.

The full Crime Report 2017 is available here: