Shoplifting across the Fine City has soared by more than 70pc in just one year. 

Data compiled from Norfolk Constabulary's crime map has revealed an increase from 111 reported offences in July 2022 to 189 in July 2023. 

More than half the cases were in Norwich East, while the south of the city saw a surge of more than 287pc. 

Norwich Evening News: One area of Norwich saw a rise of more than 280pcOne area of Norwich saw a rise of more than 280pc (Image: Newsquest)

The damning statistics come as leading chains warn of the impact the cost of living crisis is having on shops and businesses across the country.

"Unfortunately we have experienced shoplifting the past year," said Dan Fridd, co-owner of Bookbugs and Dragon Tales in Timberhill.

"We have CCTV and keep a close eye on things, but things do disappear.

"There have even been times where a whole series of books has vanished.

"I would estimate that around 2pc of our stock is stolen each year.

"That doesn't sound like a lot but when you're an independent business on small margins that's pure profit we've lost."

Norwich Evening News: Dan Fridd, co-owner of Bookbugs and Dragon Tales in Timber HillDan Fridd, co-owner of Bookbugs and Dragon Tales in Timber Hill (Image: Newsquest)

All four areas of the city recorded a rise in the number of cases.

Earlier this month, city independent shops warned that Norwich is turning into the "wild west" as they pleaded with police to do more amid a string of thefts.

One shop, Sinsins Boutique of Love in St Benedicts Street, was the victim of four thefts in just three months, with the latest being on September 13 and 14.

The shop's owner Helen Shepherd has spoken of her frustration about getting help from the police, with one thief brazenly walking out and suggesting she wouldn't be caught.

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Ben Venus, owner of record shop Venus Vinyl, in Magdalen Street, said: "It's always on my mind.

"Fortunately we haven't experienced it yet, but it's certainly something I worry about.

"If it were to happen, I would lose out despite having insurance.

"Obviously we all know about the financial challenges people are facing with the cost of living crisis. 

"We have CCTV and alarms in place but you can never be 100 per cent.

"Fingers crossed that will be enough."

Norwich Evening News: Ben Venus, owner of independent record shop, Venus Vinyl, in Magdalen StreetBen Venus, owner of independent record shop, Venus Vinyl, in Magdalen Street (Image: Ben Venus)

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A spokesman for Norfolk police said the constabulary has the highest detection rate for shoplifting in the country.

"While we’re always striving to make this figure even higher, it does demonstrate our commitment in tackling these offences which have a detrimental impact on hardworking businesses, and bringing criminals to justice," they added.

"Our priority has and will always be to catch those responsible for committing crimes, and we are constantly adapting our tactics and deploying a range of resources."

Norwich's Business Improvement District (Bid) supports businesses through its crime reduction partnership Alert.

With over 100 business members, the project seeks to reduce and prevent criminality by reducing the opportunity to commit crime.

Norwich Evening News: Businesses across the city have been urged to sign up to Norwich BID's ALERT partnershipBusinesses across the city have been urged to sign up to Norwich BID's ALERT partnership (Image: Mike Page)

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Businesses involved can attend a monthly Norwich Business Crime Forum, delivering updates to members, as well as utilising the Alert radio service which enables firms to easily communicate with each other to coordinate prevention.

Michael Yates, sustainability lead and project co-ordinator at Norwich Bid, said: “Working with Norfolk Constabulary, we have been successful in developing an active community of engaged businesses who are able to share critical information about local and persistent offenders to make Norwich a safer city.

"As the profile of shoplifting has been raised on the national agenda, the Alert partnership is there for any concerned business who wants to get involved."

Norwich City Council has been contacted for comment.