Our shameful shoplifting record

ORANGE is ranked the sixth worst in the state when it comes to retail theft and one Orange business man, who says he finds thieves daily, is at a loss when it comes to a solution to the problem. 

Ashcrofts Supa IGA owner Ian Ashcroft said the high ranking out of 154 local government areas could be because Orange store owners had faith in the police and were more likely to report crime, and the police did a “good job” when it came to running anti-theft operations in town.

A recent sting carried out by police resulted in 20 people appearing before Orange Local Court on charges of shoplifting. 

However, Mr Ashcroft also thinks it is because Orange has a higher concentration of “people who have a complete lack of respect”.

“It isn’t always people who have no money, it’s about half and half,” he said. 

“Some people just think they have a right to steal.”

Dubbo fared worse than Orange, ranked fifth worst,  while Bathurst came out ahead, ranked 38th in the state. 

Sydney city had the highest rate of retail store theft, followed by Bourke, Waverley and Moree Plains. 

The rate is calculated on the number of thefts compared to the population.

There were 256 reported thefts in  Orange in the 12 months prior to September, according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, compared to 111 in Bathurst and 280 in Dubbo. 

Mr Ashcroft said he installed 48 cameras at his Peisley Street store and employed a plain-clothed security guard who wandered around the store and caught would-be thieves. 

“The police are always great, whenever we call them, but the problem might be with the court system,” he said.

“They should be made to do community service or do meals on wheels for a few weeks, do something that gives back to the community.”

Mr Ashcroft says he spends thousands of dollars on alarms, cameras and security guards, but because the crime rate is so high he believes it is worth it.

“Someone stealing 50 bucks a week, that’s $2500 per year,” he said.

According to the bureau statistics adult men are the most likely to steal from a retail store, followed by female adults, with children accounting for 23 per cent of offenders in Orange. 

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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