How shoplifting crimes impact on your hip pocket

THE increasing number of shoplifting offences is doing more than cutting the bottom line for businesses.

It's driving up prices for consumers as retailers seek to recover costs.

Official police figures show shoplifting and shop steal offences increased more than 38% in 12 months, forcing small and medium business owners to recoup costs which puts pressure back on the consumer.

"There is a direct cost for business, not only in regards to the lost stock, but shops implementing measures to reduce theft," Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce CEO Jo Sheppard said.

"If they install security cameras, train staff on how to be aware of shoplifters or introduce new measures to display products, that's a significant cost.

"In terms of a solution, probably raising awareness that it does have an impact on business and the affect is really hard for small businesses is probably the first step."

Official Darling Downs police figures reveal shoplifting offences increased more than 38% in the in the past 12 months, with 987 crimes reported to authorities.

It's a marked increase on the 670 offences reported for the 2015-16 financial year.

Ms Sheppard said each shoplifting offence cost about $90 to the retailer and the chamber was aware of rates of offending of about one in every 11 people.

Toowoomba City Patrol Group Inspector Stephen Angus while there had been a sharp increase in shop stealing offences, the majority of offences had been solved.

"There has been an increase in shop stealing within the Toowoomba division and the peak period appears to be in April, May and June," he said.

"Our clear-up rate remains high at about the 70% mark. The causal factors are not entirely known at this point."

The National Retail Association for Queensland reported retail crimes cost the Queensland industry about $1.33 billion in 2014-15 with $2.75 million worth of goods stolen.



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