ACS Urge Retailers to Report Theft as ONS Reveals 3% Fall in Recorded Incidents

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to new figures from the Office for National Statistics’ annual Crime Survey for England and Wales, reiterating calls on retailers to report incidents of shop theft when they occur.

According to the ONS survey, which covers the whole of retail, the number of police recorded shop theft incidents for the year ending December 2018 decreased by 3% to 374,895 offences.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The ONS figures may show a decrease in the overall number of shop thefts being recorded by the police, but we know that there is significant under reporting of incidents like theft due to frustration from retailers about the lack of response from police.

“We urge retailers to report all incidents of shop theft when they occur. According to our members completing our crime survey, four in five shop thieves are repeat offenders, and half are motivated by needing to feed a drug or alcohol addiction, so failing to report shop theft allows these problems to develop unchecked, which could lead to more shop theft and progression to crimes like robberies or burglaries.”

Figures from the 2019 Crime Report show that the issue retailers are most concerned about in their stores is violence against their staff. There is also a clear link between theft and abuse, with challenging shop thieves being the number one cause of aggressive behaviour in stores.

The Home Office is currently calling for evidence from retailers and their staff to help understand the scale of violence and abuse in stores. This includes questioning the extent to which incidents are linked to age-restricted sales of products like cigarettes and alcohol. The call for evidence also asks for feedback on prevention and support, enforcement and the criminal justice system. This includes the effectiveness of the law and any barriers to reporting these crimes.

More details on the call for evidence are available here:

ACS is also currently working with the Home Office and the rest of the retail sector on a campaign to report all incidents of abuse when they occur. Posters for stores are available on request, please email for more information.

This entry was posted by Chloe on Thu, 25/04/2019 - 11:29