Shoplifting Statistics 2016April 6, 2017
Shoplifting is an unfortunate reality facing many shop owners in the UK today. Although many shoppers are perfectly willing to pay for their goods in an honest fashion, there are unfortunately those who try and get away with things for free. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) recently released its crime statistics for the year ending June 2016. These are the most up-to-date crime statistics available for England and Wales and they show that, although total theft offences recorded by the police had remained broadly level, there had been an increase in a number of sub-categories of theft. One of these sub-categories was shoplifting which went up by 3% to 340,719 recorded cases.
This is quite a shocking statistics and shows how important it is to have security in your shop to prevent shoplifting. It’s also important to clear up a number of misconceptions surrounding shoplifting in order to make these statistics have more clarity.
One of the most important things to know is that there is no profile of a typical shoplifter. Statistics show that men and women are equally likely to shoplift and there’s no way to spot who’s more likely to be a shoplifter. This means it’s necessary to be vigilant all the time and to take precautions.
Another important thing to bear in mind is that shoplifters steal all kinds of things from all kinds of stores. Although some stores might be more of a target for shoplifters, no shops are completely immune. This includes department stores, music stores, drug stores etc.
Shoplifters rarely steal all their merchandise. In fact, it’s far more common that they will buy the majority of it, but steal a small number of things on the side. This depends on the type of shop that’s being stolen from, however. Supermarkets are particularly vulnerable to this form of shoplifting as a number of small cheap items can be stolen and hidden when the customer buys the majority of their products.
Although it’s difficult to identify shoplifters, it is possible to see how likely you are to be a victim of shoplifting depending on your area. In 2013 the ONS released a map showing the areas in which shoplifting had increased the most. It found, generally, that shoplifting had risen the most in inner-city areas and in the north of England. There are, however, a number of exceptions to this. In London, for example, the overall number of shoplifting incidents had fallen.
Understanding the reasons why people shoplift is integral when it comes to preventing it. First off, it’s necessary to state that most shoplifters aren’t professional. This means they don’t shoplift out of criminal intent, financial need, or greed, but as a response to social and personal pressures they might be facing. Furthermore, many shoplifters aren’t particularly interested in what they are stealing, they, in fact, do it more for the ‘high’ they get when they find they’ve got away with it.
Hopefully, these statistics have highlighted the threat of shoplifting and the need for precautions. Taking steps towards preventing shoplifters by having security guards and cameras can save you a lot of money in the long run.
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