A report has been released saying that reports of shoplifting in C-stores has doubled in the past year.

The UK Association of Convenience Stores’ (ACS) 2018 Crime Report has revealed that there were over 950,000 incidents of theft reported in the last year, up from 575,000 in the previous year.

This equates to around 200 theft reports per hour.

Retailers are reportedly blaming the police for turning a blind eye to the problem.

The report linked the rise in theft to aggressive behaviour towards retailers and their staff.

According to the UK Telegraph, most police forces no longer respond to reports of routine shop theft and will send someone to investigate if there has been the threat of violence.

If the theft is worth less than £200, those caught are dealt with by post, in a similar way to dealing with speeding tickets.

The ACS’s chief executive James Lowman said: “Retailers and their staff are facing violence and abuse on a regular basis for enforcing the law, whether it be through challenging shop thieves, refusing the sale of age restricted products like tobacco and alcohol, or refusing to serve people that are intoxicated”.

“Allowing shop theft to go unpunished means that these people go on to commit other offences, and where they have addiction problems they are not treated”, Mr Lowman said.

“We need fresh thinking from government and the police, because when shop theft is not tackled properly, it has wider implications for communities.”

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