8.6% increase in shoplifting ‘totally unacceptable’, says RGDATA
RGDATA has outlined a number of urgent measures required to tackle retail crime to Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald
5 April 2016
An 8% increase in shoplifting to more than 22,500 reported crimes has been described as “totally unacceptable” by retail organisation RGDATA, which is calling on the Department for Justice to introduce a number of urgent measures to tackle the problem.
The increase in shoplifting was revealed in the CSO’s latest statistics on crime, yet as RGDATA points out, ” theCSO’s crime data only captures crimes reported to the Garda so the true level of offending is even higher than the data suggests”.
RGDATA director general Tara Buckley commented: “The impact that retail crime is having on shop owners throughout the country is extremely serious and impacting not just on their livelihoods and the cost of doing business, but is also increasing stress and anxiety levels for the owners and their staff to levels that are way beyond what is acceptable”.
She added that although shop owners are “investing heavily in security and CCTV, this is not deterring shoplifters” and said some members who have been the victims of repetitive shoplifting, have even discussed closing up their shops.
RGDATA has made representations to Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, outlining the serious situation shop owners find themselves in and outlined a number of urgent measures required to tackle retail crime.
These include the following:
- A more visible Garda presence in rural towns and villages;
- A commitment by Garda to follow up with retailers in relation to a crime reported.
- The use of the network of retailers for installation of Garda CCTV facilities in areas of particular vulnerability or in locations of pivotal importance from a transport perspective.
- Longer sentences for serial shoplifters – in particular the practice of imposing concurrent sentences for offences fails to provide the deterrent required for recidivist criminals.
- Lifetime driving bans for drivers of getaway cars
- Stronger trespass laws with increased protection for retailers who wish to refuse a person access to their store
- Electronic tagging of offenders
- Stricter bail laws and
- A specialist retail crime unit to assist with deterring and investigating crime against retailers.