Shoplifting is on the rise at the Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush with 721 incidents recorded in 2013.
This represents a 12.5 per cent year-on-year rise.
The information was released by the Met Police following a FOI request by Retail Gazette.
Shop theft now consists of 44.5 per cent of total crime at Westfield London, up from last years figure of 38.1 per cent.
When approached for comment, a spokesperson said: “Despite increasingly higher footfall year-on-year, total crime incidents at Westfield London decreased by 4.4 per cent in 2013 compared to 2012 and the crime rate remains relatively low. Westfield will continue to work closely with the police to assist retailers to reduce shop theft crime in their stores.”
Last summer, police in Hammersmith and Fulham – home to the shopping centre – were forced to scrap a plan which would have meant shoplifters stealing goods worth less than £50 would not be arrested.
The police declined to give details of what retailers were reporting crime. In a statement it said: “Disclosure of this information, would provide valuable intelligence which would be useful to criminals by identifying which retailers are reporting crime in their stores, thus revealing possible weaknesses in security. This could enable them to target certain stores, thus compromising law enforcement and avoiding apprehension.”
Westfield London, which opened in October 2008, is the size of 30 football pitches and has more than 265 luxury, premium and high street retailers from more than 15 different countries. A £1bn scheme to extend the centre was approved by Mayor Boris Johnson last Friday which will bring a department store and 1,300 new homes to the capital. The shopping centre group is also considering a listing in London.
Brent Cross shopping centre, which has over 140 stores, recorded 215 thefts last year – a small reduction in 2012’s figure of 219.