More than a third of shoplifting offences in Sheffield in the past five years went undetected by South Yorkshire Police, new figures reveal.
A front-page report in The Star yesterday revealed 19,642 shoplifting offences have taken place in the five years since April 2009 to this March, with thefts including everything from a 10p shopping bag to a £15,000 gentleman’s watch.
But figures obtained in a Freedom Of Information Act request by The Star show 36 per cent of that shoplifting crime went undetected by police, meaning no punishment was ever brought on the offender in question for 7,034 of the offences, according to the figures.
A total of 12,608 offences was detected out of 19,642, with 44 per cent of those detected crimes - 5,590 - resulting in the offender being charged.
Another 3,033 shoplifters were also handed fixed penalty fines, while 278 adults and 409 under-18s were punished with restorative justice.
A total of 866 were issued a summons, while 700 were given a ‘simple caution’, 364 were given a reprimand under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and 150 were given some kind of warning under the same act.
Youth offending also meant 47 young people, aged between 10 and 17, were given a youth caution or youth conditional caution.
Paul Knott, owner of One Stop Games Shop at the Moor Market, has called for tougher punishments. He said: “When they do go to court, they only get a slap on the wrist.
“I don’t know what the answer is, unless the courts are harsher.”