Bournemouth store workers have described their terror at a huge increase in violent shoplifting across the town, writes Nadine Siad.
Thefts are an epidemic that affect many types of businesses, including clothes stores, supermarkets such as Tesco, and beauty stores such as The Body Shop.
“It’s really scary when it happens,” said Holly Buckley, a Tesco cashier in the city centre.
She described the issue like “common and became usual “.
She added: “With inflation people are more likely to be tempted to steal, that’s why we hired a security guard to avoid those type of incidents and most important to protect the staff.”
Collin Hayes, manager of Body Shop in the town centre, added: “There is too much of it in Bournemouth, and it is just as bad in Poole and Christchurch.”
He added ”It’s terrible because it has increasingly deteriorated over the last five years.”
The law doesn’t consider any prosecution if the robbery doesn’t exceed £250.
However this type of occurrence is recurring and poses a risk to employees and affect the financial status of these establishments.
Mr Hayes also complains about the police response times. He said: “The authorities take two hours to arrive after the incident and don’t do anything.
“It’s not their fault, legally if it doesn’t reach £250 of stolen items they won’t come out.
“I’ve seen hundreds of pounds in stock lost due to shoplifting, and it affects our business.”
The manager added “This kind of situation affects the staff as well because most of the thefts are getting aggressive verbally and physically, and we are powerless.”
Husseyn, the proprietor of Square News a corner shop, stated: “It’s unfair, I can’t afford security guards on my door like the big stores.”
He added: “My CCTV is useless if the police don’t do anything.”
Shoplifters are an increasing risk to both small and large enterprises as it leapt by 22% in the past two years.