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Shoplifting surges 26% across 10 of the UK’s largest cities

Tom Bottomley
31 July 2023

New research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed that incidents of theft have increased by 26% across 10 of the largest cities in the UK, with some cities seeing a rise of as much as 68%.

Major chains and supermarkets have been especially targeted by organised gangs as perpetrators have become bolder, building on the findings of the BRC’s most recent crime survey which showed incidents of violence and abuse against retail employees have almost doubled on pre-pandemic levels.

Incidents, which include racial and sexual abuse, physical assault, and threats with weapons, have also risen from the pre-Covid high of over 450 per day in 2019/20, to over 850 per day last year.

The BRC is once again urging the Government and police to take action and do more to protect workers as retail crime soars across the country.

Helen Dickinson, CEO of the BRC, said: “Every time I speak with retailers, crime is getting worse. Thieves are becoming bolder, and more aggressive. Violence and abusive behaviour are on the rise. Many employees are facing threats with weapons, physical assault, and racial and sexual abuse. While these confrontations might be over in a matter of minutes, for many victims, their families and colleagues, the physical and emotional impact can last a lifetime.

“Retailers are playing their part, investing nearly £1bn into crime prevention measures in the past year alone. But more needs to be done.”

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