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Police 'not picking up the phone' to attend shoplifting 'endemic', Lord Stuart Rose tells LBC

7 February 2024, 10:05 | Updated: 7 February 2024, 10:12

Lord Stuart Rose speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari
Lord Stuart Rose speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari. Picture: LBC/Nick Ferrari
Natasha Clark

By Natasha Clark

Police aren't taking Britain's shoplifting endemic seriously, Lord Stuart Rose has told LBC.

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Cops aren't picking up the phone to attend burglaries and goods being nicked anymore, he claimed.

Speaking exclusively to LBCs Nick Ferrari, Lord Rose insisted that there was a "social responsibility" and for young people to be educated better.

But the chairman of Asda, who has led a string of retail firms, said that he is being forced to chip in for his own security.

"We have no choice," he told Nick.

"The authorities just do not take shoplifting seriously. 40 years ago when I was a manager at Marks and Spencer Marble Arch, the police would turn up. Now they don't even answer the telephone."

LBC has revealed how shoplifting has soared in recent years, with a 30 per cent hike according to this year's crime figures alone.

Lord Rose denied it was down to more self service checkouts and other technology.

Former Chief Constable gives his take as a high street store offers reward to shoplifter snitches

The Conservative peer added: "The costs are soaring. The numbers are scary. We have to cover the costs. Margins are down to historic lows. We are a very efficient industry trying our best to help customers."

And he slapped down accusations that shops were greedy and hiking prices to rip off customers.

For every shoplifting offence it meant others would have to pay higher prices, he insisted.

Lord Rose, formerly of Marks and Spencer, urged Chancelloe Jeremy Hunt to slash business taxes and reform the apprenticeship levy at the upcoming budget next month.

The biggest problem the UK was facing is how to stimulate growth, he insisted.

He also used his phone in to warn that the fight against inflation, which has tumbled in recent months, was not over yet.

And interest rates may not come down just yet either, he added.

This caller who blames the surge in food prices on the rise in shoplifting incidents

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