SHOPLIFTING has risen by 14 per cent in the past year with more than than 4,000 incidents being reported to Wiltshire Police.

Retailers large and small in Swindon and the surrounding area are losing millions of pounds to these crimes.

According to the figures from, 4,210 incidents were reported between April 2017 and March 2018.

Stephen Hollister from The Little Rock Shop has been a retailer in Swindon since 1991 and said he wasn't surprised.

He said: “There are incidents every day around the town centre.

“It’s always the same people nicking everything.

“Big shops are more likely to have stuff nicked from them.

"I’ve got a small shop so I don’t worry about it much.

“When I was in the Tented Market, I used to get a few shoplifters, but since I moved to the Brunel in 2016, I’ve had no problems."

But businesses in another area of town had a different experience.

Kris Talikowski, from the Old Town Business Association and The Core, said: “I’ve not experienced any shoplifting myself and haven’t heard of anyone around here experiencing it.

“I’ve been part of the association for three years and it’s never come up.

“The good news is that soon Old Town is in the process of acquiring CCTV.

“That will really strengthen the area and hopefully reduce some of the late night anti-social behaviour we’ve had.”

Compared with other police forces around the country, the number of shoplifting incidents reported in Wiltshire is low.

Of the 42 forces and constabularies in England and Wales, the county’s shoplifting figures placed it 33rd, just above Suffolk Police and below Surrey Police.

But it had one of the biggest year-on-year increases on the table.

Nationally, a total of 378,725 shoplifting incidents were reported.

This is a four per cent overall increase from the 2016/2017 financial year.

The data was gathered by online retailer OnBuy.

Cas Paton, managing director of OnBuy, said: The findings from this research are intriguing.

“With the overall number of shoplifting incidents increasing from the previous year, it’s a crime which is financially burdening retailers.

“It’s unfortunate because many owners spend a lot of time, money and energy ensuring all aspects of their operations are running effectively and efficiently.

“Whilst shoplifting may seem difficult to prevent, there are certain cost-effective precautions retailers can take to deter shoplifters from targeting them.

“Precautions such as training employees to identify the behaviours associated with shoplifters and appropriate signage to warn potential offenders about the seriousness of the matter."