Retail Crime — [Mr Laurence Robertson in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 1:30 pm on 11th April 2019.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Labour, Delyn 1:30 pm, 11th April 2019

My right hon. Friend anticipates a later section of my initial contribution, which will be about the police response. I will come to that in due course, but it is a critical point. If shop theft takes place—if a member of staff at the local Co-op sees somebody stealing a bottle of vodka and they say, “Please put that back”, that is one of the major triggers for the shoplifter to engage in verbal abuse or violence.

I have talked about USDAW and the BRC. The Association of Convenience Stores represents some 22,000 shops, the smaller stores that are in every town, village and community in the United Kingdom. It has identified that for those 22,000-plus shops, the cost of retail crime equates to £246 million per year, or £5,308 per store. Critically, that means a crime tax of 7p in the pound on the price that you and I, Mr Robertson, pay for goods. That cost comes from the loss of goods through theft and from the information that has to be provided, through CCTV cameras and in other ways, to prevent those thefts in the first place.