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  • There were 842,752 reported cases of theft from UK businesses between 2013 and 2016
  • £184 million worth of stock was stolen from businesses between 2013 and 2016
  • Northamptonshire has seen biggest rise in business thefts, increasing by 70% between 2013 and 2016
  • Greater Manchester revealed as Britain’s business theft hotspot

A staggering £184 million worth of items were stolen from businesses across the UK in the space of  three years, new research has revealed.

The data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by self storage company Space Station, reveals there have been a reported 842,752 cases of theft from 20 constabularies across the UK between the years 2013 and 2016 [1], with a recorded value of £184,163,389.

Business theft was defined as recorded offences of theft of commercial goods from businesses in the UK. This included, but was not limited to: theft from shops and stalls, running away without paying, attempted theft or theft by an employee.

Greater Manchester had the highest recorded number of thefts out of the 20 constabularies which responded to the Freedom of Information request, with 141,887 cases recorded over a three period.

Next was West Yorkshire with 110,053 thefts, and Derbyshire with 96,369. Northamptonshire saw the biggest increase in incidences of business theft, rising by 70% between the years 2013 and 2016. This was followed by Bedfordshire with a 35% increase and then Lancashire (20%) and Cambridge (18%).

Business theft hotspots by number of recorded instances

Business theft hotspots   Total recorded instances
  Greater Manchester    141,887
  West Yorkshire    110,053
  Derbyshire    96,369
  Essex    84,253
 Kent    69,048

Business theft hotspots by highest recorded value

Of the eight constabularies that provided data on the value of the crimes, Greater Manchester once again was the highest, with a staggering £71 million worth of items stolen from businesses from 2013 to 2016. Kent totalled £40,758,827 worth of theft and West Yorkshire over £34 million.

  Business theft hotspots   Total recorded value
  Greater Manchester   £71,384,978.43
  Kent   £40,758,827.43
  West Yorkshire   £34,037,465.00
  Lancashire   £20,430,118.22
  Devon and Cornwall   £9,267,822.00

Vlatka Lake, Marketing Manager at Space Station, said: “It is shocking to see that over 842,000 reported cases of business theft have taken place over the last three years, and that these businesses have lost out on over £184 million in stock.

“Although many of these crimes aren’t preventable, it is important to be extra vigilant to stop cases like this recurring and to safeguard people’s livelihoods.

“We highly recommend that businesses invest in secure storage solutions and take necessary steps to deter criminals. A well-lit space that is laid out to remove any hidden corners or ‘blindspots’ can deter opportunists.

“Business owners can also look into alternative areas to hold their stock if they are going to be away from the premises for any period of time.”

To find out more about Space Station, go to:

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