Hartlepool’s shoplifting shame revealed

Shoplifting is on the increase
Shoplifting is on the increase

Almost four shoplifting crimes a day are reported to police in Hartlepool – making it the sixth-worst area in England and Wales, according to latest figures.

A total of 1,337 crimes were logged by officers of thieves stealing from stores in the town between January and December 2016.

Shoplifting doesn’t just affect the retailers, it also affects consumers.

Linda Firth

This is up from 1,157 the previous year, with areas targeted including Marina Way, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre and Laburnham Street.

The study was carried by LoveMyVouchers.co.uk using recent official police data and includes 346 areas – not included were City of London and Isles of Scilly – due to low population figures.

The figures make the town sixth-worst in England and Wales due to the number of shoplifting crimes weighted by population.

Linda Firth from LoveMyVouchers.co.uk said, “Shoplifting doesn’t just affect the retailers, it also affects consumers as the losses are typically recouped through higher retail prices.

“With such a high portion of the population already struggling to make ends meet, the affect of increasing retail prices to account for the costs of shoplifting could have a significant impact on budgets.”

Overall, the total number of shoplifting incidents in 2016 was up 7.6% from the previous year, with the recorded figure from January to December standing at 362,499.

Last year, Cleveland Police launched Operation Raptor, aimed at looking at alternative ways of dealing with first-time offenders who own up to the crime.

Superintendent John Lyons said: “It is more important than ever that we use our finite resources to deal with the greatest vulnerabilities in our communities and support organisations to prevent and deter crime such as shoplifting in a different way from the past.

“I would encourage retailers across Cleveland to continue to engage with their neighbourhood officers and PCSO’s to find ways to reduce retail crime.”

For more details on the study, visit www.lovemyvouchers.co.uk/2017-shoplifting-study.