UK’s shoplifting capitals: Interactive map reveals the places where light-fingered locals are ransacking stores the worst – so how bad is YOUR area?
- EXCLUSIVE: Shoplifting hotspots across Britain revealed in shocking map
- Less than 20 per cent of shoplifting offences resulted in suspects being charged
As Britain reels from a shoplifting crisis that is hitting stores across the country, the worst areas afflicted by the crime have been revealed.
Data obtained and analysed by MailOnline shows there have been more than a million record shoplifting offences in the past five years.
However, the British Retail Consortium estimated the true figure was eight million, costing shops nearly £1billion across the year.
By dividing the number of shoplifting offences by the population each police force is responsible for, MailOnline has created a ranking of shoplifting hotspots in the UK.
Cleveland tops the table as the place with the most number of shoplifting crimes in the past five years per 1,000 people.
CLICK THE MAP TO SEE WHERE YOUR AREA RANKS
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Cleveland tops the table as the place with the most number of shoplifting crimes in the past five years per 1,000 people
We can reveal Surrey came out as the safest place in Britain when it comes to shoplifting
During the period 2018-2023, there were 32,378 reports of shoplifting in the region.
With a population of 570,000 according to the most recent census data, that works out at 56.80 crimes per 1,000 in population.
We can reveal Surrey came out as the safest place in Britain when it comes to shoplifting.
In the last half decade there were just 18,817 reports of shoplifting in the region.
With a population of 1,205,600 according to the most recent census data, that works out at 15.61 crimes per 1,000 in population.
MailOnline can also reveal that while British police investigated 1,580,277 shoplifting offences in the last five years, just 18 per cent eventually led to someone being charged or summonsed.
The scourge of shoplifting on Britain’s streets has seen retail bosses call for more police help in dealing with the problem.
Earlier this week, the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) said it is facing a £12million jump in the cost of shoplifting as bosses at the retail giant blamed a surge in organised crime.
Dame Sharon White, chairwoman of the department store owner, told reporters that the recent spate in shoplifting at stores was driven by ‘crime groups’ rather than thefts linked to the soaring cost of living.
The boss said she met with Sir Mark Rowley, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, earlier this week to discuss shoplifting.
The retailer called on the Government to change legislation in the England and Wales to make it a criminal offence to abuse shop workers, in line with current rules in Scotland.
On Monday, the boss of Primark called for police, prosecutors and magistrates to take the shoplifting crisis ‘more seriously’ after the clothing retailer experienced rising cases of thefts and attacks on employees.
Dame Sharon White, chairwoman of the department store owner, told reporters that the recent spate in shoplifting at stores was driven by ‘crime groups’
The retailer called on the Government to change legislation in the England and Wales to make it a criminal offence to abuse shopworkers
George Weston is one of the latest retail chief to speak out after John Lewis chairman Dame Sharon White warned that shoplifting has become an ‘epidemic’.
He said: ‘We are having more of our clothes stolen than ever before, this is increasing. There has been an increase in anti-social behaviour, including assaults on shop staff.’
Last month, JLP’s supermarket arm Waitrose said it was offering free tea and coffee to police officers in an effort to boost their presence around stores.
German discount supermarket chain Lidl said separately on Thursday it was stepping up investment in store security amid increasing rates of shoplifting, by ramping up CCTV coverage and rolling out more body-worn cameras in its outlets.
JD Sports was been at the eye of the shoplifting storm this month after widely-shared posts on TikTok and Snapchat two weeks ago invited yobs to wear balaclavas and gloves and ‘rob JD Sports’ on Oxford Street at 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon.
Other chains such as John Lewis, Waitrose Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Boots are now issuing staff bodycams and training to deter violence from aggressive thieves.
Police at JD Sports on Oxford Street in London amid the ‘mass shoplifting event’ on August 9
Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association, previously told MailOnline: ‘This year we have seen a significant increase in retail crime.
‘In the past, shop theft has been dominated by people with chaotic lives and driven by a drug dependency. However, there now seems to be a more organised approach with people stealing to order.
‘Large supermarkets are using security tags on products like meat and cheese, or displaying empty jars of coffee.
‘One of our members recently reported an incident when a gang, outside of the area, targeted a few shops and moved on. All very quick, organised, professional, and choosing a variety of small businesses and a range of products.
‘Other members have made similar comments as they know the local problem criminals, but new faces are now committing the crime.’
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