MPs from All Major Parties Sign Motion on Shop Theft

An Early Day Motion tabled by All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group chair Ruth George MP on the importance of dealing with shop theft has received cross party support from MPs.

Early Day Motion 1415 has received signatures from members of the Labour Party, Conservative Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrats and the DUP.

The Early Day Motion states:

“That this House notes with concern new research from the report of the Centre for Social Justice, entitled Desperate for a Fix, which estimates that there were 38 million incidents of shop theft in 2017 costing £6.3 billion which has considerable impact on retailers and their staff; further notes the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, the Home Office’s Commercial Victimisation survey, the Association of Convenience Stores and the British Retail Consortium shows that the volume of shop theft is increasing; understands that businesses and the people that work in shops are victims of shop theft and are increasingly at risk of violence and verbal abuse when dealing with shop thieves; believes that fresh thinking is needed on ways to tackle the root causes of shop theft with a particular focus on the most prolific drug-addicted shop thieves; seeks greater involvement from police and crime commissioners and the Government to tackle shop theft; calls on the Government to publish its review of the use of out of court disposals started in 2014; and recognises the need for businesses, communities and police forces to collaborate more closely to encourage better reporting and response to shop theft.”

Figures from the 2018 ACS Crime Report show that theft alone costs each convenience store in the UK an average of over £1,700 a year, with retailers fearing that incidents of theft are the main trigger for abuse of staff in stores. There were almost a million incidents of shop theft estimated in the convenience sector last year.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the support from MPs across the house in recognising the serious nature of shop theft and the impact that it has on retailers, their staff and the wider community. Shop theft needs to be taken seriously throughout the justice system, from the initial response to incidents when they occur to effective penalties and deterrents against reoffending. Police and Crime Commissioners are a key part of this system, so it’s essential that they all have shop theft and business crime on their agenda. We encourage all retailers to write to their PCCs and urge them to sign our pledge.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner Pledge includes the following commitments:

  • confronting reoffending, particularly prolific reoffenders with drug dependencies and organised criminal gangs 
  • working to standards on what a ‘good response’ to shop theft looks like, supporting retailer led crime prevention, developing and sharing best practice with retailers, and encouraging them to report shop theft in line with these standards 
  • always responding promptly to shop theft where violence is involved or where a suspect is detained

Currently, only 9 out of 40 Police and Crime Commissioners include an explicit reference to business crime in their plans. More details about the pledge and a template letter for retailers are available here:

This entry was posted by Chloe on Tue, 26/06/2018 - 11:51