The government will ask the police department to prosecute shoplifters who steal items less than £200 in retail settings including community pharmacies.
The government’s move follows the complaints from retailers that the police feel reluctant to register complaints on minor shoplifting cases.
The latest move is seen as a major step with retail shops and community pharmacies facing widespread abuse during the current pandemic despite efforts from government departments and pharmacy bodies to tackle violence against pharmacists and their staff.
The British Retail Consortium figures state that shoplifting cases cost British retailers £770 million, adding that there were 155,000 violent or abusive incidents shop workers in 2019-20.
Meanwhile, the Home Secretary on Tuesday (July 7) set out plans to crack down on abuse and violence against shopworkers.
The steps, which are detailed in the Home Office’s call for evidence on the issue, are designed to improve support for victims and ensure perpetrators face justice.