Shop theft record broken

Local shop theft record smashed as store owners face a ‘retail crime crisis’

Previous theft reports have been smashed in the last year according the latest Crime Report by the Association of Convenience Stores.

THE UK’s local shops recorded a staggering 5.6million reports of shop theft over the last year completely blowing the previous record out of the water.

According to the Association of Convenience Stores‘ (ACS) latest 2024 Crime Report, theft reports have risen more than five times their number from last year when it sat at what was an already eye-watering 1.1million incidents.

James Lowman, chief executive at the ACS, said: “Retailers are facing an onslaught of crime committed against their businesses on a daily basis, with some losing tens of thousands of pounds per year to theft alone.

“This extended crimewave cannot be allowed to continue. Thieves are known to the community and to the police but they simply do not care, and continue on regardless, filling baskets and trolleys and walking out without fear of reproach.”

The ACS said that retailers have recored over 600 incidents of theft an hour over the last year, highlighting the scale of this shocking issue.

The report also highlights a huge rise in violent incidents, with over 76,000 incidents of violence against store owners and their staff, up from the previous year’s 41,000.

This follows on from the recent report from the British Retail Consortium which found that store crime had risen by 50% over the last year.

Additional findings from the 2024 report found that the top motivations for repeat offending came from drug or alcohol addicted consumers, organised crime or from opportunism.

And when it came to the reasons behind abuse of store colleagues, the ACS reported this was down to reasons such as encountering the thieves in the store; enforcing law restrictions or refusing to serve intoxicated customers.

As a result of this shocking report, the ACS has called on governments across the country to support retailers during this difficult time by delivering justice for victims through effective sanctions on criminals; focus additional police resources on neighbourhood policing; and support further investment into technology that will deter criminals.

Lowman said: “There have been positive steps forward made in recent months with the publication of the Retail Crime Action Plan and the launching of Operation Pegasus to try and better identify prolific offenders and bring them to justice, but the figures in our report demonstrate that more needs to be done urgently.

“Nobody should have to come to work and face what retailers and their colleagues have faced over the last year.”