Shoplifting: East Midlands

Home Office written question – answered at on 17 May 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to reduce shoplifting in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) the East Midlands.

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

The Government recognises the significant impact shoplifting has on businesses, communities and consumers. The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows neighbourhood crime is down 48% compared to findings from the year ending March 2010.

However, Police Recorded Crime figures show shoplifting offences increased by 37% in the 12 months to December 2023. Statistics also show the number of people charged with shoplifting offences has risen by 46% in the year ending December 2023, showing that police are taking action.

We have recently taken significant steps nationally to improve the police response to retail crime, including shoplifting, and these are being implemented in all police forces across England and Wales.

The Government’s plan – "Fighting retail crime: more action" was launched on 10 April, 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.

We will bring forward legislative changes to introduce a presumption towards electronic monitoring as part of a sentence served in the community for those who repeatedly steal from shops. This legislative change will provide that on the third sentencing occasion, an offender would be electronically monitored as part of any community sentence or post-release for the duration of any licence period.

The Government’s plan builds on the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) Retail Crime Action Plan. Through this Plan, all forces across England and Wales have committed to prioritise police 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 is actionable evidence and the chance of identifying an offender, including shoplifting.

October also saw the launch of Pegasus, a unique private-public partnership, which involves retailers providing data, intelligence and evidence to Opal, the national police intelligence unit on organised acquisitive crime, to develop a better strategic picture and help forces crack down on serious offenders.

We are continuing to work closely with retail businesses, security representatives, trade associations and policing through the National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG), which meets on a quarterly basis, to ensure the response to retail crime, including shoplifting, is as robust as it can be.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.