The Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) and the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) have called on the government to help retailers prevent shoplifting, as crime rates increase. 

In a letter to policing minister Chris Philp, the groups cited data from the Office for National Statistics that noted a 24% rise in shoplifting across England and Wales in the year ending March 2023. 

The Fed’s national president, Muntazir Dipoti, partially attributed this to the ongoing cost of living crisis. However, Dipoti said shoplifting “blights the lives of independent retailers on a daily basis and has significant implications for a store’s viability”.

The letter urged the government to provide financial support to independent retailers so that they can expand their security systems in an effort to deter crime. The Fed and BIRA recommended a grant of up to £1,500 per retailer.

The Fed’s Dipoti said: “The burden of crime prevention shouldn’t fall on retailers’ shoulders. Government intervention is crucial to safeguard retailers, particularly smaller shops.

 “Security measures are expensive to buy and install, and we as shop owners need support to protect ourselves, our staff and our livelihoods.”