Big drop in shoplifting in Ipswich

SHOPLIFTING in Ipswich has dropped by more than ten per cent in the past year despite consumer apathy towards pilferers, it emerged today.The latest figures come only days after a national survey indicated more than one in five adults thinks shoplifting is "no big deal".

SHOPLIFTING in Ipswich has dropped by more than ten per cent in the past year despite consumer apathy towards pilferers, it emerged today.

The latest figures come only days after a national survey indicated more than one in five adults thinks shoplifting is "no big deal".

It also claimed that one in five people asked in East Anglia admitted to shoplifting - the highest proportion in any region of the country.

However Paul Clement of the Ipswich Partnership said shoplifting in the town centre fell by 10.6 per cent year on year, according to the most recent statistics. These make a comparison between year ending March 2003 and March 2004.


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Mr Clement stressed mammoth efforts have been put in to curb the scourge of shoplifters in Ipswich. These include a large amount of police manpower being aimed at the problem, banning orders being issued to prevent pilferers coming into the town, a radio link between stores and the use of CCTV.

He said: "There is an enormous amount of resource gone into fighting shoplifting. Criminals might think it is easier to steal from shops but the fact of the matter is we are detecting more and more of these people and incidents are falling."

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Despite the drop in Ipswich, research has found a staggering 17 per cent of the people questioned owned up to shoplifting, while 40 per cent knew someone who had stolen from shops.

Nearly a quarter (24 pc) believed stealing items from large retailers is less

damaging than to smaller outlets while 21pc thought shoplifting was ``no big

deal'.

Mr Clement said it was likely many people were diffident about stealing from bigger shops because they did not realise the consequences to the consumer.

Retailers factor in an amount to the price of their goods based on what they believe shoplifting will cost them in employing store detectives, using security cameras and people stealing stock.

Mr Clement said: "The biggest reason why people think it is not a big deal is they do not perceive that it damages or penalises them."

Douglas Greenwell, marketing director of Securicor Security, which commissioned the survey, said of the national research: "These figures are a major concern for UK retailers which already face an average loss of almost £3,000 a year per outlet from shoplifting and have the highest shrinkage (the amount of stock that is stolen) levels in Europe."

The highest proportion of people admitting to shoplifting (20 per cent) was in the south-east and East Anglia, with the lowest (13 pc) in Yorkshire, north-east

England and Humberside.

Research group TNS surveyed 1,010 adults aged 16 years and over in Britain

During a two-day period last month.

N Tell us your view on shoplifters and what punishment they should be given? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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