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UK retailers are losing a total of 800 million pounds each year due to shoplifting, with more than 366,000 offences reported in 2016-17, with the Metropolitan Police recording the highest number of thefts.

According to the report from OnBuy.com, which utilises data derived from data.police.co.uk that records information from 43 police forces and constabularies across England and Wales, there were 47,580 shoplifting offences, defines as “theft from shops or stalls”, reported between April 2016 and March 2017 in the Greater London area, excluding City of London, the equivalent to 130 incidents a day.

West Midlands Police had 19,741 shoplifting incidents reported, followed by Greater Manchester Police with 18,002 shoplifting offences. The other forces in the top ten worst areas for shoplifting included West Yorkshire Police, Thames Valley Police, Northumbria Police, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Hampshire Constabulary, South Yorkshire Police, and Kent Police.

City of London Police had the lowest number of shoplifting cases with only 729 reported, the equivalent of 2 incidents every day. Also at the bottom of the table, Dyfed-Powys Police, which recorded more than double the figure of City of London, with 1,533 shoplifting offences, while Cumbria Constabulary just above in the list had 2,819 incidences of shoplifting.

Cas Paton, managing director of OnBuy.co, said: “The figures are certainly fascinating. Shoplifting is more prevalent than we would like to think. Considering the amount of time and energy shops put into running various aspects of their operation daily, shoplifting is really an unfortunate occurrence for them.

“Whilst it may feel unavoidable, shops can certainly take various steps to prevent shoplifters from targeting them. Simple steps such as better staff training to identify potential shoplifters and storing high-value items more securely can go a long way when dealing with the problem of shoplifters.”