Home Office written question – answered on 11th July 2018
Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the level of shop theft in England and Wales; and what assessment he has made of the potential role of (a) the Government, (b) Police and Crime Commissioners and (c) local police in tackling the root cause of shop theft offending.
Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women
Statistics on shoplifting offences reported to the police are recorded in the crime statistics published by the Office for National Statistics. The statistics can be accessed via their website at www.ons.gov.uk.
We encourage all retailers to report shoplifting to the police whenever it occurs, so that these crimes can be investigated and, where appropriate, the offenders brought to justice.
It must, however, remain a matter for chief constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, as operational leaders and elected local representatives, to decide how best to deploy resources to respond to these crimes, alongside other local priorities.
At the national level, the police, Police and Crime Commissioners, relevant government departments and the retail sector are all represented on the National Retail Crime Steering Group, which ensures a collaborative response to all the crimes that affect the retail sector. Within the Steering Group we have discussed different approaches to preventing and tackling shoplifting and this will continue to be a priority.