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Campaign to End Retail Crime

Updated: May 7

Today the Labour & Co-operative Parties launched a campaign to end retail crime.

Both Labour's Parliamentary Candidate Jessica and PCC candidate David Stokes supported the campaign.

Retail crime is blighting Britain’s high streets and the government's extra measures not going far enough. Cases of shoplifting across the country have risen by a third. While Ministers have u-turned to introduce a new law to tackle shopworker abuse they have failed to reverse their decision to downgrade shoplifting of items under £200.  

Labour is calling on the UK Government to back stronger action on retail crime.

Jessica Toale, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Bournemouth West said: 

“Retail crime has been a rising at a shocking rate across the UK. A recent report from the Co-op Group highlighted that shoplifting and anti-social behaviour have jumped 35% year-on-year, with more than 175,000 incidents recorded in the first six months of 2023 – almost 1,000 incidents every day. At the same time, shopworkers are facing unacceptable levels of violence and abuse. We see this across Bournemouth and it is something people raise on the doors with me regularly.

“After a decade-long campaign from both the Labour and Co-operative Parties, the Government have finally u-turned and will now make abusing a shopworker a stand alone offence. But whilst Ministers have resisted this move at every point, our town centres have been less safe and shopworkers are going to work in fear." 

David Stokes, Labour & Co-operative’s Dorset Police and crime commissioner candidate said:

“With 10,000 fewer neighbourhood police and PCOS on our streets since 2015, an increasing number of reported retail crimes are going unattended, leaving our town centres and high streets exposed and our communities paying the price.

“As your Police & Crime Commissioner candidate I back this campaign and will fight to get more police on our streets and take retail crime including shoplifting seriously.”



  • The campaign was covered on the front page of the Echo on 24th April. Read the article by clicking the button below or here.

  • Jessica was further quoted in an article about repeated thefts at WH Smith in the town centre. Read it here.

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