Stores hit by thieves 12,500 times in a year

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SHOPLIFTERS struck at stores in the county 12,578 times in a single year.

Data from an open source police website has shown the staggering number of thefts for 2016-17.

It means on average 34 shopliftings took place each day within the 12 months.

Hampshire has the eighth highest in national rankings, according to OnBuy.com, which collated the data.

Managing director Cas Paton said: ‘Shoplifting is more prevalent than we would like to think.

‘Considering the amount of time and energy shops put into running various aspects of their daily operations, shoplifting is really an unfortunate occurrence for them.’

The MD added: ‘Simple steps such as better staff training to identify potential shoplifters and storing high value items more securely can go a long way when dealing with the problem of shoplifters.’

The firm said workers should be trained, with an employee at the front of the shop greeting customers, with careful auditing and adequate signs put in place.