More than 3.5 million people have admitted shoplifting in the past five years. An in-store theft happens once every 90 seconds. And, according to the British Retail Consortium, £830m worth of products are stolen every year in Britain.
Although shoplifting may not always be top of the police’s list of priorities, it’s a problem that shop owners face every day. So a new government measure that allows small retail businesses to claim up to £3,000 to help safeguard their stores against crime comes as fantastic news.
This week the Home Office announced up to £5m for the grants, which will also be distributed in sums of up to £50,000 for groups of neighbouring shops who want to make external improvements that will benefit their streets, such as additional lighting.
Individual businesses can claim for in-store equipment such as UV markers, security grills and alarms.
Home Office minister Alan Campbell said: “Small businesses play a vital role in our communities and I am determined to ensure that small businesses are not taken advantage of during these hard economic times.
“The government is committed to working with industry and police to tackle the crimes that affect them such as shoplifting, anti-social behaviour and robbery, particularly during this economic downturn.”
Businesses will be able to apply for one of the grants from the middle of August, with further details to be announced by the Home Office.