There has been a 13% increase in shoplifting offenses reported by Lancashire Constabulary in 2017-18 according to a new study, making the area the UK's 14th-worst.
As per the investigation, carried out by online marketplace OnBuy.com using data from data.police.uk, across the financial year of April 2017 to March 2018 local retailers were hit hard, with Lancs Constabulary recording a total of 9,457 shoplifting offences compared to the 8,379 incidents which took place over the 12 months prior.
In the whole of the UK, a staggering 378,725 cases of shoplifting have taken place in the last year - an average of over 1,000 per day - representing a 4% increase on the previous year, while the crime is proving a profitable game, with shoplifting accounting for £500 million (71%) of the £700 million direct cost incurred from retail crime in the UK between April 2016 and March 2017 according to the British Retail Consortium.
"With the overall number of shoplifting incidents increasing from the previous year, it’s a crime which is financially burdening retailers," said Cas Paton, Managing Director of OnBuy.com. "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," Cas continued, pointing to "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."