PCC supports shop workers’ week of action
By Sarah Wood | 28th November 2023
Gloucestershire's police and crime commissioner (PCC) is calling for a summit of major retailers to try to stem the increase in shoplifting.
Chris Nelson was invited to the Co-op's Longford Lane branch in Gloucester during the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers' (USDAW) Respect for Shopworkers Week (November 13-17).
In one incident at the store recently, £1,000 of medical products, including large quantities of pain relief tablets were stolen in a theft, described by the company as 'bulk-shoplifting' or 'looting'.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently published data that showed a 25% rise in shoplifting in the 12 months to March 2023.
In July, the Co-op published its own data, which showed a 35% increase in the number of incidents in its 2,400 stores for the first six months of the year, and a further 25% rise in violent incidents.
According to the company, crimes were mostly committed by repeat and prolific offenders, with drug or alcohol addictions and local organised criminal groups among the main drivers of offending.
Chris Nelson said: "Retailers must take some responsibility themselves; not least for how they lay out their stores and for protecting their properties better. Police are now doing more, and clear results are achieved when police and partners such as retailers and other businesses work together.
"I hope we can sit down with all businesses and other relevant partners and come up with some ideas that will improve life for everyone. Because it's clear to me that only by working together can we commit to making things better."
Image credit: Thousand Word Media Ltd
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