REVEALED: Shoplifting on the increase across Lancashire

Online marketplace OnBuy.com investigated the total number of shoplifting offences recorded by 42 police forces across England and Wales last year. This is what they found.

Lancashire has seen an increase in shoplifting offences of 13 per cent, according to a new survey.

According to available data, there were 9,457 shoplifting offences reported by Lancashire Constabulary in 2017-18.

That equates to a 13 per cent increase from the previous year and ranks the county 14th nationally.

Utilising data derived from data.police.uk, online marketplace OnBuy.com investigated the total number of shoplifting offences that were recorded by 42 police forces across England and Wales in the financial year of 2017-18 (April 2017 – March 2018).

Overall, a total of 378,725 shoplifting incidents were recorded a four per cent increase from April 2016 – March 2017

Shoplifting can be a very profitable crime for offenders but significantly costly for retailers.

In fact, recent research by the ‘British Retail Consortium’ worryingly showed that shoplifting accounted for £500 million (71 per cent ) of the £700 million direct cost incurred from retail crime in the UK between April 2016-March 2017.

Shoplifting per the police is defined as the “theft from shops or stalls”.

OnBuy found that the Metropolitan Police had the highest number of shoplifting offences at an astounding 46,840 – the equivalent of 128 incidents a day in the capital.

Lancashire Constabulary reported 9,457 incidences of shoplifting in 2017-18, compared to 8,379 the previous year.

Cas Paton, Managing Director of OnBuy.com commented: “The findings from this research are intriguing

“With the overall number of shoplifting incidents increasing from the previous year, it’s a crime which is financially burdening retailers.

“It’s unfortunate because many owners spend a lot of time, money and energy ensuring all aspects of their operations are running effectively and efficiently.

Whilst shoplifting may seem difficult to prevent, there are certain cost-effective precautions retailers can take to deter shoplifters from targeting them.

Precautions such as training employees to identify the behaviours associated with shoplifters and appropriate signage to warn potential offenders about the seriousness of the matter”.

OnBuy has provided four inexpensive tips to effectively reduce and prevent shoplifting:

Here they are :

*Value Organisation: Stock products on shelves in an organised and identifiable manner.

In doing so, it will allow you to easily spot if anything has gone missing.

If you don’t have the time or manpower to continually restock and take an inventory, then push products to the front of shelves to create a solid wall.

*Establish Presence: Have one employee always at the front of the store to greet customers as they come in.

This will be a clear indication to any potential shoplifter(s) that staff are aware of who has entered the shop and consistently aware of their behaviours/actions throughout the premises.

*Understand Behaviour : Train employees to spot the behaviours which are typically exhibited by potential shoplifters.

This includes being in the same aisle for a long period of time, spending more time watching the cashier than shopping; wearing heavy/bulky clothing; repeatedly looking around when picking up items and carrying an unusually large bag/purse.

*Utilise Signage: Make sure you have plenty of signs throughout the store which clearly state, ‘shoplifters will be prosecuted’ and ‘all products under surveillance’.

These signs will send a message to any opportunistic shoplifters that you take the matter very seriously and will take the appropriate actions if someone is caught committing a shoplifting crime.

OnBuy says the City of London Police were not included in the research due to incomplete shoplifting data.