POLICE have seen a big rise in the amount of shoplifting reported across Essex.

About 10,500 shoplifting offences were recorded by Essex Police in the year to June – up from 9,137 in 2022 and a rise of 15 per cent.

It follows trends across England and Wales where reports of shoplifting increased 25 per cent, from 293,000 offences in 2021-22 to 365,200 last year.

However, that was below the 368,700 shoplifting crimes recorded in 2019, before the pandemic.

Overall theft offences have increased 10 per cent from the previous year, with 1.7 million crimes recorded nationally in the year to June.

In Essex, police recorded about 47,000 theft offences in 2022-23. That was a nine per cent rise from 43,000 the year before.

The overall number of crimes recorded by police in England and Wales in the year to June 2023 stood at 6.7 million, compared with 6.5 million in the previous 12 months.

The increase has mainly been driven by the increase in shoplifting, together with a jump in fraud offences against businesses.

Essex Police recorded 161,800 total crimes in the year to June – down from 168,000 in 2021-22.