RGDATA Calls 8.6% Rise In Shoplifting 'Unacceptable'
RGDATA has called the latest crime statistics from the CSO, which indicate that shoplifting has increased by 8.6% to more than 22,500 reported cases, as being 'totally unacceptable'.
"This is a really worrying trend for shop owners," said Tara Buckley, RGDATA's director general. "CSO crime data only captures crimes reported to the Garda so the true level of offending is even higher than the data suggests."
Buckley continued by saying that retail crime is not only affecting the livelihoods of shop owners across the country, but that it is increasing the levels of stress on retailers and their staff to an unacceptable level.
RGDATA has asked the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald to bring in a number of measures to reduce retail crime. These include having a more visible Garda presence, along with a commitment from police forces to follow up with retailers in relation to reported crimes.
The group has also asked for a stronger network of CCTV facilities in key places, longer sentences for shoplifters, stronger trespassing laws and lifetime driving bans for drivers of getaway cars.
It has also asked for electric tagging of offenders, and for a specialist retail crime unit to be set up to assist with deterring and investigating crime against retailers.
"Retail crime must be tackled as a matter of urgency. Shop owners are investing heavily in security and CCTV but this is not deterring shoplifters," said Buckley.
"Some RGDATA members who have been victims of repetitive shoplifting have spoken about closing up their shops as a consequence of the fear and threat to themselves, their staff and their families from criminal elements."
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.