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In addition, the stock control in shops is so deficient that few retailers know how many goods they lose to shoplifters or to their staff.So long as theft and damage of goods, known in the retail industry as , does not rise above 2-3 percent of goods sold, retailers may pay little attention to shoplifting, especially when stolen goods can be taken as a tax write-off.Several offender groups are responsible: (1) opportunistic thieves, not readily distinguishable from ordinary customers, who steal items for personal use (sometimes called petty shoplifters); (2) more determined thieves, usually operating alone, who steal small quantities of goods to sell, often to support drug habits; and (3) groups of organized thieves who steal large quantities of merchandise for resale (often referred to as professional or organized retail theft).
Consequently, this guide focuses on other preventive actions police might take.
In many cases, their most important task is to persuade store-owners and managers to improve their security.
Other crimes requiring their own analyses and responses include: Some of these related problems are covered in other guides in this series, all of which are listed at the end of this guide.
For the most up-to-date listing of current and future guides, see
Whatever the reasons, the police may have an uphill task convincing retailers that their sales practices and lack of security may be contributing to the problem.
Faced with these attitudes, it is tempting for police to wash their hands of shoplifting and let the shops bear the consequences.
This guide reviews ways to reduce shoplifting (merchandise theft from the shop floor during business hours), which is a common crime that affects large and small retailers alike.
Particularly at risk are self-service stores that sell small items that are easily concealed in clothes or bags.
But there are many reasons why this may be shortsighted, including the following: For all these reasons, police cannot ignore shoplifting.
The challenge facing them is to conduct a thorough analysis of the local problem to put together a combination of preventive responses.