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Shoplifting on the rise across Norfolk supermarkets, figures show

PUBLISHED: 16:17 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:17 31 January 2019

Figures from Norfolk police show there were 5,311 recorded incidents of theft from supermarkets between 2014 and August 2018 - the equivalent of three a day. Photo: Bill Smith

Figures from Norfolk police show there were 5,311 recorded incidents of theft from supermarkets between 2014 and August 2018 - the equivalent of three a day. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant

Shoplifting in Norfolk supermarkets increased by more than 70pc in four years - with 1,377 incidents recorded in 2017.

Figures from Norfolk police show there were 5,311 recorded incidents of theft from supermarkets between 2014 and August 2018 - the equivalent of three a day.

It comes as national figures show a 7pc increase over the same period.

Supermarket theft spiked from 860 incidents in 2015 to 1,379 in 2016 in Norfolk. In 2017 the number of recorded incidents only dropped slightly to 1,377. In 2014 the figure stood at 800.

Last year police recorded 895 shoplifting incidents from supermarkets. However the 2018 data was only from January to August 29.

The British Retail Consortium said the national data highlighted the plight of both shoppers and owners in shouldering the cost of shoplifting.

James Martin, the trade organisation’s crime and security adviser, said: “These figures indicate that, despite the best efforts of our members, criminals are increasingly targeting supermarkets.

“We acknowledge the difficult resourcing and prioritisation decisions which police forces face, but it is clearly time that every police force gives retail crime the strategic priority it deserves.”

Norfolk police said it crime recording system does not have a location category specifically for supermarkets only.

It said its figures were filtered based on the names of the major supermarket chains.

Figures obtained by the Press Association from police forces in England and Wales show officers were called to investigate 78,110 shoplifting incidents in 2017, up from 74,662 the previous year, 74,124 in 2015, and 72,423 before that.

Incomplete figures from 27 forces show there were a further 46,973 shoplifting incidents at supermarkets during 2018, up until the end of the summer.

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “These figures mirror the increase seen in many other types of crime. And, although they may not be considered the most serious of offences, it is important those responsible are not allowed to do as they wish without the fear of being caught.

“The reality is that officers can be tied up, sometimes for hours dealing with shoplifters, preventing them from answering other 999 calls which may be more urgent.”

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