Incidents of shoplifting and most other types of retail crime fell over the course of 2010, according to new research.
The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) Retail Crime Survey for the year showed that the overall number of offences per 100 stores was down 11 per cent compared to 2009.
Shoplifting was down 10.6 per cent, although the total value of goods stolen was still huge at £137 million and significantly up on last year.
The reported fall in offenses reflects a study published in October by the Centre for Retail Research on behalf of merchandising visibility specialist Checkpoint Systems, which said retail crime was down but still a major expense for businesses in the sector.
Despite crime reducing it appears retailers are counting the cost of theft in another way, with the BRC investigation indicating that companies in the industry have splashed out more than £210 million on implementing preventative measures.
In order of cost to retail, customer theft was at the top of the list followed by fraud, burglary and staff theft respectively.
BRC Director General Stephen Robertson said: “Retailers have already stepped up to deliver the Big Society and safe, vibrant communities.
“Faced with soaring retail crime in recent years - boosted by the recession and insufficient action by the police and courts - retailers dug deeper into their own pockets and spent even more on crime prevention measures.
“It’s encouraging to see this having a positive impact on the number of shoplifting offences but the cost to retailers still went up.”
He added that with extra support from the courts, police and politicians, retailers should be able to reduce their expenditure on preventing crime, as well as cutting the cost of theft itself.