National Policing Lead for Business Crime Deputy Chief Constable Sue Fish said:
"We have seen an increase in recorded shop theft, which is partly down to increased confidence in the police response and more businesses reporting theft. There are a number of other factors at play: businesses have increased pressure to show profitability so report more losses, we are seeing people choosing to shoplift to maintain their previous lifestyle on diminishing budgets and police forces are proactively targeting shoplifters.
"Working with businesses to make it more difficult for criminals to target them is the only way we will reduce this type of crime. Businesses and retailers recognise the need for drastic change. We have agreed together to focus on getting the basics right: developing a national definition of business crime and corresponding standards, and making shop watch and partnership groups more effective.
"Police and businesses sharing information increases our ability to prevent and detect organised business crime. I want to encourage businesses to share information with us so that we can continue to improve our collective response."