Retail Trade: Crime

Home Office written question – answered at on 1 May 2024.

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Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s Retail Crime Action Plan.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

In October 2023, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) published the Retail Crime Action Plan. Through this Plan, all police forces across England and Wales have committed to prioritise attendance at the scene where violence has been used towards shop staff, where an offender has been detained by store security, and where evidence needs to be secured and can only be done by police personnel. Additionally, where CCTV or other digital images are secured, police will run this through the Police National Database to aid efforts to identify prolific offenders or potentially dangerous individuals.

This builds on the NPCC commitment that police forces across England and Wales will follow up all crimes where there are reasonable lines of enquiry, actionable evidence and the chance of identifying an offender, including shoplifting.

Early indications suggest that there has been improved police attendance at the retail crime incidents prioritised. This has been echoed by major retailers.

Though this is a welcome step from policing, we know more needs to be done. That’s why, on 10 April, we launched the Government’s plan – "Fighting retail crime: more action" which highlights five areas of work this Government will drive forward to tackle retail crime:

  • Introducing a standalone offence for assaults on retail workers;
  • Additional electronic monitoring for prolific shoplifters;
  • Working with police and businesses to roll out the latest facial recognition to catch these perpetrators;
  • Championing good practice to design out crime; and
  • Making it easier for retailers to report crime.

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