Light-fingered customers are costing Britain’s retailers £800m per year, according to a survey carried out by MonitoredAlarms.co.uk.
The security company spoke to over 100 British shops and stores, including both c-stores and multiples. It found that the top ten items stolen were:
- Razor blades
- Bags – both plastic and reusable
- Meat and cheeses
- Electrical goods
- Sporting goods
It’s the appearance of shopping bags on the list that raises eyebrows. The introduction of the 5p charge has seemingly turned the country into a nation of petty criminals, with one recent survey claiming that over 500 million single-use bags have been stolen since October.
“We won’t pretend to be experts on the social and financial reasons that result in people stealing from retailers,” said MonitoredAlarms.co.uk’s Jonathan Ratcliffe, “but each year we see the same products being stolen, and simple measures can save thousands.”
The obvious placing of signposted cameras near razor blades has resulted in the once-favourite thieves’ target dropping down to number three on the list. That’s a testament to retailers recognising that the problem can be solved, Ratcliffe said.
“But when people are driven to theft by a 5p charge for plastic bags, there’s little chance of driving the criminals from our stores,” he concluded.