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Cost of retail theft soars despite increased crime prevention spend

The cost of retail crime soared year-on-year in 2010 despite retailers investing more than £210m in crime prevention.

Shoplifters stole goods worth almost £400,000 every day last year according to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Retail Crime Survey. Over £137m of goods were stolen, up from £99m in 2009.

The number of offences affecting retailers dropped by 11% year-on-year, but thieves increasingly targeted higher value products. The average value of goods stolen rose to £70 from £45 the previous year.

Retailers increased spending on crime prevention by 10% last year. The BRC called on law makers and enforcers to match retailers’ commitment to cut crime. The organisation has put forward recommendations, including collection of unpaid Penalty Notices for Disorder and prosecution of offenders rather than dealing with them out of court.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “With proper support from the courts, police and politicians the fall in crime figures can and should be accompanied by the fall in costs that retailers and their customers deserve.”

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