The Most Effective Ways to Prevent Shoplifting Crimes



Shoplifting is a major problem for retailers across the country. So much so that research by retail security firm ‘Checkpoints Systems’ found that British shops lose £800 million each year from shoplifting offences. Latest figures show that there was a total of 366,512 shoplifting offences reported to 43 different police forces/constabularies between April 2016 – March 2017. Despite these worrying statistics, what many fail to realise, is that shoplifting is one of the most preventable crimes. has complied an easy guide as to how shops/stores can reduce shoplifting crimes from happening.

Stay Organised

Aim to stock all products in a neat and organised manner on shelves and other storage units. This will allow you to easily identify if anything has gone missing. Moreover, if don’t have the time or manpower to continually keep re-stocking, then push products to the front of shelves and storage units – to create a solid wall. Ensure you take a regular inventory of stock at least once a month, so you can recognise if anything has gone missing.

Appropriate Signage

Display signs throughout the store which clearly states, ‘shoplifters will be prosecuted’ and ‘all products under surveillance’ – this will send a clear message to any opportunistic shoplifters that you take the matter very seriously and will take the appropriate action if required.

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Suspicious Behaviour

There are certain behaviours to look out for, which are closely associated with someone who steals from a shop. Some of these include: spending a long time in the same aisle, circling the store to figure out how many employees are working, wearing heavy clothing such as large hoodies/jackets/sweatshirts in warm weather, repeatedly picking up then putting down the same item(s) and carrying an unusually big bag/purse.

Valuable Items

Make sure to evaluate the products in store and their value if they were to go missing. Insurance providers will need to know this information, should you need to claim. If you have particular high-priced items, you may choose to not have them on display, and rather padlocked or chained with security tags, so anyone who wishes to see the item, must ask a shop assistant for help.

Useful Technology

Quality technology such as a reputable alarm system and a CCTV set-up will require a substantial financial investment but can go a long way towards deterring shoplifters. Particularly with CCTV’s, install them strategically around the store to make sure all areas are carefully monitored. With regards to high value products, add electronic tags to them for added security.

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Employee Presence

Have at least one employee at the front of the store who greets customers as they come in. This will signal to any potential shoplifters, that employees are aware of who has entered and thus, fully observant of their actions/behaviours as they move through the store.

Mirror Mirror

Audit the store layout to seek out blind sports and then use mirrors to provide a clear vantage point in these parts. Additionally, brightness is key. To achieve this, use sufficient lighting fixtures throughout the store – especially in line with where products are placed.

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