HDE Calls For Enhanced Law Enforcement As Shoplifting Incidents Rise

By Dayeeta Das
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HDE Calls For Enhanced Law Enforcement As Shoplifting Incidents Rise

The German Retail Association (HDE) has reiterated its call for more consistent criminal prosecution given the increasing number of shoplifting incidents.

A total of 426,000 shoplifting incidents were reported in 2023, representing an increase of over 23% compared to the previous year, the HDE added citing police crime statistics.

Moreover, the latest figures from the EHI Retail Institute underline a high number of unreported cases, with 100,000 shoplifting incidents per day remaining undetected.

A 'Major Threat' To Retail

The HDE sees this development as a major threat to the retail sector and added that the increase in shoplifting incidents is a 'warning signal' that should not be ignored.

HDE general manager Stefan Genth stated, "Shoplifting causes retailers to lose billions of euro every year. The state must finally respond to the increasing number of crimes with more consistency in criminal prosecution.


"Theft must not become the new normal in shops. The current conditions are unacceptable."

No Major Consequences

The HDE also highlighted that the retail sector feels that shoplifters that are reported do not face any major consequences.

Genth explained, "Reporting a crime involves a lot of effort for retail companies and is often ultimately futile.

"Many shoplifters get away with it and are not punished consistently enough, and cases are often dropped."


Read More: Grocery Retailers Step Up Measures Against Shoplifting

The HDE also called for consistent action concerning gang-organised shoplifting.

The association called for 'intensive exchange' between law enforcement authorities across state borders for such crimes.

Genth added, "In many places, professionally organised gangs are now committing shoplifting with great criminal energy. In order to stop them, the police and public prosecutors in the individual federal states must work much more closely together."

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