England March 2 2017 Barnet’s shoplifting ‘hotspot’ was the target of one of the highest numbers of offences in the country in 2016.
Data from police records was analysed by retail site LoveMyVouchers to identify areas of the UK hit most frequently by shoplifting.
Brent Cross shopping centre was marked as having the third-highest number of incidents reported last year, with the Met police showing 316 individual instances of shoplifting on the premises.
However, of the 32 areas covered by the Met, Barnet as a whole had the seventh-lowest shoplifting rate when measured by the number of incidents as a percentage of the area’s population.
The total number of shoplifting incidents in England and Wales during 2016 was up 7.6 per cent from 2015, with the recorded figure from January to December 2016 standing at 362,499.
The Metropolitan Police handled a total of 47,099 reports during 2016, which is more than a 10 per cent increase on the 2015 figure of 42,658.
Linda Firth from LoveMyVouchers said: “Shoplifting doesn’t just affect the retailers, it also affects consumers as the losses are typically recouped through higher retail prices.
“With such a high portion of the population already struggling to make ends meet, the effect of increasing retail prices to account for the costs of shoplifting could have a significant impact on budgets.”
Westminster, home to some of London’s main shopping streets, had the UK’s highest shoplifting rate.
The top hotspots were Selfridges on Oxford Street, Vigo Street off Regent Street, and the top of New Bond Street where it meets Oxford Street.
Kensington and Chelsea had the second highest shoplifting rate, with target locations including Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, including Harrods, Kensington High Street and Kings Road.