Shoplifting hotspots in 2023 – where were they?

Shoplifting has been in the news a lot recently, mostly to do with the rising level and perceived Police inaction by shopkeepers. An interesting article here in the Times points to the problems with bigger shops – self-checkout stalls and fewer staff, has also made it easier for shoplifters. As the piece says,

“A change in the law has been blamed for trivialising shoplifting and making police less likely to arrest suspects.

Since 2014, stealing goods worth less than £200 has been considered a summary offence — a minor violation dealt with in a magistrates’ court. The change was intended to speed these cases through the courts by enabling police to prosecute directly, rather than through the Crown Prosecution Service.

But retailers fear Britain could be heading for the kind of lawlessness in some US states where retailers are forced to turn a blind eye to armed looters.”

Personally I have huge sympathy for the small shopkeepers, many of whom some of us have come to consider as local friends or at least local friendly faces. For them, without their own security, it’s a much more challenging situation. But how should we best measure shoplifting across different areas?

I would suggest using the number of shoplifting incidents over a 12 month period – Jan to Dec 2023 – per hectare across all postcode sectors.  And here are the results.

Rank Postcode Sector Region & Wards Land Area (Hectares) Shoplifting
1 LS1 5 Leeds 2.44 167.21
City and Hunslet Ward
2 TS1 1 Middlesbrough 2.92 82.53
Gresham Ward, Middlehaven Ward
3 W1U 1 Westminster 6.85 74.89
Marylebone High Street Ward
4 BS1 2 Bristol 5.88 60.20
Cabot Ward, Lawrence Hill Ward
5 DN1 1 Doncaster 12.87 44.13
Central Ward, Wheatley Ward
6 LS1 6 Leeds 19.37 41.35
City and Hunslet Ward
7 W1F 7 Westminster 11.21 29.88
West End Ward
8 BR1 1 Bromley 17.03 28.83
Bromley Town Ward
9 RG1 1 Berkshire 4.66 28.76
Abbey Ward
10 W1K 5 Westminster 3.67 27.52
West End Ward

This is anything but a Central London problem with only 2 postcode sectors in the top 10. If you want to know where you own postcode sector ranks in comparison to thousands of others for shoplifting or any other crime, you can find that out with a subscription to – from £7.49 a month. Risk is always relative and with numbers, quantifiable – that’s why the insurance industry find our platform so useful. Some good tips here from the Met on how to reduce shoplifting if you own a shop.



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