With shops losing £800m a year due to shoplifting, more than 360,000 offences were reported in 2016-17 according to findings from Data.police.co.uk.
Utilising the data, OnBuy.com investigated the total number of shoplifting offences that were recorded by 43 police forces/constabularies across England and Wales in the last financial year.
The research revealed that the Metropolitan Police had the highest number of shoplifting offences at 47,580 – the equivalent of 130 incidents a day. This was followed by West Midlands Police, who had 19,741 incidences of shoplifting, while Greater Manchester Police had 18,002 shoplifting offences.
Following these findings, OnBuy reveals its top five tips to effectively prevent and reduce shoplifting:
Train employees to watch out for behaviours which shoplifters typically display such as paying more attention to their surroundings than the items, repeatedly picking up then putting down the same item(s) and ignoring any attempts to help or engage with them.
Have one employee always at the front of the shop greeting customers as they come in. This will be a clear indication to any potential shoplifter(s) that staff are aware of them and paying attention to their action/behaviour.
Carefully identify items which are most likely to be stolen, either through previous experiences or because of their high value. Consequently, take the necessary precautions to make them a harder target for shoplifters through storing them in cabinets with locks or keeping them behind the counter.
Displaying an adequate number of signs throughout the store clearly stating, “shoplifters will be prosecuted” will demonstrate your firm stance on the seriousness of the matter. Additionally, including signs which say the store is protected by security cameras (even if they can’t be visibly seen), will deter shoplifters by making them aware they are actively being monitored.
Where possible use low-level aisles so staff can see customers at all times. Identify blind spots and then use mirrors to provide a vantage point in these areas. The addition of bright lighting will also make shoplifters feel like the spotlight is always on them.